Marketing is NOT selling. However, some companies may still get confused between the two. They may have salespeople with the job titles of “marketing executive” or “sales and marketing cum business development executives”; because they may think that marketers are also salespeople.
This is not true. A marketer is not a salesperson.
I came across a medium sized company in Singapore which is currently recruiting someone who can do triple job scopes in marketing, selling as well as business development. For many weeks, the company is still not able to find a suitable candidate for that multi-tasked position because a salesperson may not want to do a marketer’s job while a marketer may not want to do direct sales either.
As the saying goes, “a jack of all trades is the master of none.” That is why it is pretty important for companies to understand the difference in functions between marketing and selling so as to get the right talent for their organization.
7 Things Marketing is Different from Selling
1) The goal of marketing is to make the selling environment better, while the goal of selling is to make a sale from a customer.
2) Marketing is about making consumers buy because of the brand first, then the product and the person. While selling is about making consumers buy because of the person first, then the product and the brand.
3) Marketing is about planning a strategy to become the market leader of a group of consumers. Selling is about closing a customer through one-to-one interaction, one at a time.
4) The process of marketing started long before the selling takes place such as consumers segmentation, planning and creating brand strategies. While the selling process takes place only when the salesperson meets with the prospects.
5) Creating a brand that is relevant to the targeted group of consumers is marketing. Interacting and pro-actively asking an individual consumer to consider one’s products and services is selling.
6) Marketing involves influencing consumers’ buying decisions through subtly educating the consumers to like the brand. Selling is more of asking the consumer to buy based on the benefits of the products and services through one-to-one interaction.
7) The end product of a marketing campaign is to create prospects, potential customers or leads. While the end product of a sales campaign is to convert the prospects, potential customers and leads into a buying customer.
“When marketing is done well, is selling unnecessary?”
This is often the most controversial statement of all and the most debatable one between the marketing professionals and the sales professionals.
In my opinion, marketing is important as it makes consumers understand more about what our brand really stands for. But selling is not totally unnecessary either, if marketing is done well. For cases such as E-commerce and blog-shops, marketing may make selling unnecessary as there is little or no face-to-face interaction between the business’ salespeople and the customers. However, for B2B kind of businesses, where client relationships values the most and prospects are more analytical than emotional, good salesmanship will therefore be necessary.
In some B2C businesses which I observed, good marketing and branding strategies can make the products sell by its own. Literally, the salesperson may simply be seen as an “order-taker” because the consumers, from the brand’s marketing efforts, already knew what they want to buy long before they meet the salespeople. However, some form of convincing from the salesperson is still needed in order to make the prospects sign on the dotted line quicker.
We can also see a huge difference when we compare a B2C company without good marketing but good salespeople, and with another B2C company with good marketing strategies but with only average salespeople. The one with good marketing strategies always wins the one without even though they only have average salespeople; this is because selling tends to be a lot easier and consumers are more convinced to buy when we have a good marketing strategy.
Marketing is definitely not selling. Selling may be a part of marketing as it involves one-to-one customer interaction, but it is not marketing. By understanding the differences between a marketer and a salesperson, companies can therefore plan better, market better and sell better!