There is a lot of confusion about the differences between marketing and sales. Marketing is in fact the act of ‘bringing the product to market’. Selling is about closing a sale and turning a potential buyer into a customer. Closing a sale is also called a conversion.
Marketing is primarily about research – identifying potential buyers and then finding the best way to introduce your product to them. This usually involves some form of advertising. When you have identified the potential customers, marketers will develop what is called the ‘marketing message’ to try and reach them. The more this message resonates with what the prospective customers need or want, the more likely it is that you will be able to sell your product or service to them.
There are some advantages to online marketing as opposed to offline marketing. Marketers can perform market research using keyword searches or search engines, using various programs to help them. The marketers can get a lot of useful, real time data in this way about what people are looking for online and this is often free or very cheap to do. It is also extremely valuable information to have.
Marketing and sales do often overlap into what is called ‘the pitch’. This is how you deliver the marketing message and is how the marketing turns into the sale.
If the marketing has been done well, the message will be clearly delivered in the sales copy, ad copy or however you communicate with the customer. Building trust with the customer and presenting your message clearly is very important.
Selling is about overcoming objections. It is a one to one technique where the seller helps the buyer to reach a decision. As part of the marketing process, you need to uncover potential objections which might prevent someone buying what you have for sale. Selling is when all marketing research is applied at the point of sale. The better you know the customers’ potential objections, the better chance you have of making a sale to them.
Marketing is an art as well as a numbers game. The best marketers know how to reach prospective customers, which is more than just number crunching. They know how to make people tick and what makes them buy.
There is a huge focus on numbers when it comes to internet marketing. Thousands or even millions of potential customers will see an ad or receive an email. You might think that success is guaranteed when you advertise to so many people.
This is not altogether true. Just because you reach a lot of people does not necessarily mean a certain percentage of them will want to buy from you. You do need to get the marketing message to as many people as possible but it is also vital to make sure you are advertising to the right people.
Good marketing should disappear behind the ad copy and neat graphics. The marketing message should come through easily to motivate and interest the right people. If marketing is done well, the products can sell themselves.
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News, a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.