So many people get confused about these two – is Sales part of Marketing or does Marketing lead to Sales? Or is Marketing just another way of saying Sales?
I can’t blame them for getting confused. I used to work in a marketing department and even I was a bit vague about what, exactly, marketing covered. From the experience I had in that department it appeared to cover:
- Writing press releases
- Placing ads in the media
- Production of company literature of all kinds
- Dealing with the advertising agency on all of the above
Then I got promoted and decided to add a qualification or two to my CV – I did a course and was astonished to discover how much more there is to it!
Marketing underpins the whole business operation from:
- Identifying customer needs
- Research and development of solutions to meet those needs
- Promotion of the new product or service
- Engaging with interested people
- Presenting the product or service to them
- Providing ongoing support services.
So, I discovered, sales is actually part of the marketing process.
To my chagrin I also had to learn statistics (I’ve never been good with numbers) to calculate the spread of demographics and buying patterns. I became familiar with lots of jargon and stumbled through the algebraic equations and mathematical formulae.
Today I work by helping people with parts of the marketing process – the bit where they present their products or services to potential clients in a persuasive way – so I’m part of the sales part. However, I also spend a good bit of time trying to encourage my clients to identify their customer clearly so the message is better targeted, also to use a number of ways to promote their products and services and engage with interested people.
Today there are many more ways to reach and interact with potential customers using the world wide web. However, without marketing your business simply won’t survive! It’s not a ‘nice-to-have’; it’s an absolute essential.