By definition marketing’s pure purpose is to drive sales, however, marketing is not sales.
Our clients come to use wanting to grow their business, and rightfully so, they expect to see sales increase after engaging in our marketing services. However, there’s a fundamental difference between marketing and sales – understanding the boundaries will often make all the difference.
Whether you are a startup company, or a multi-million revenue corporation, this conversation is relevant to both.
What is marketing?
The process of *showcasing the benefits* of a product or service for the purpose of selling that product or service.
What is sales?
Selling is *offering to exchange* an item of value for a different item (money).
By definition – the two processes are interdependent.
Now, how do you design a marketing strategy in a way that, indeed, increases your sales?
Connect your marketing with sales from the start.
Your marketing department is busy. They are writing blog posts. Engaging on social media. Designing posters, banners, flyers. How do they ensure that they support your sales department?
When we work with our clients (no matter the solution – be it website design, social media, paid advertising or branding), the first question we ask is: “what are we selling for our client?” Naturally, they come to us for marketing, but all marketing questions must start with sales.
- what are we selling?
- what is the most profitable product/service we have?
- when is the best time to sell it?
- who want to buy, what we have to sell?
These questions above will set the intention for the whole project (branding, website design, social media, etc.). And while marketing is about communication and clarity, remembering why we are communicating (to make money/sell/grow a business) should be the foundation for the whole conversation (your marketing strategy).
Empower your sales people.
Nothing happens without the actual “ask” or *offering to exchange* – the actual sales process. Your sales people are out there, building relationships, and asking for the sale to happen. What is their motivation? Commission? While that’s great and vital, on the other hand we all know that money is not the first motivator for people to come to work. By nature, we humans, need to be connected to something bigger than us. Something meaningful and authentic. And this is where marketing comes into place! While sales people are excellent communicators, your marketing team is where your brand is usually created and nurtured. Marketing is the mothership of your brand! Make sure your sales people are clear and aligned with your marketing/brand values, goals and the main purpose of your organization.
Take this connection even further by answering the following:
- is your marketing department connected to your sales people?
- do you refine your marketing strategy every quarter, based on what your sales team is accomplishing?
- do your sales people know what your brand stands for and what your marketing team’s goals are?
While this is not a novice idea, the connection between marketing and sales is fundamental and vital to any growing business. Be it your in-house marketing team or a marketing agency you hire – the first questions to ask is still the same: What are we selling?
Need help defining your marketing strategy for 2015? Get in touch – we love talking marketing >>! Or come by our Creative Greenhouse. We are conveniently located on Robson Street, Vancouver. And we always have chocolate… Always.