Sales. Marketing. Which is which.

On a weekly basis we receive up to 15 speculative applications from people looking for employment and/or work experience within the marketing sector. A high percentage of these applications are because the person wants to “get into marketing;” “has really good interpersonal skills” and “is creative,”………and I do not fully understand what these actually mean when it comes to marketing………and does the person fully understand what marketing is?

The marketing sector is one of the more varied careers out there and covers a wide range of skills, but there are times when I feel that the term marketing has become almost a buzzword not just among businesses and brands, but among people wanting to get into the industry….without actually knowing what it entails.

Depending on whom you ask, marketing can mean very different things and one of those things is sales.  A key job of Marketing is to understand the marketplace from the perspective of the customer looking back towards the company – what we like to call the features and the benefits of the company or product. Sales are what you make when you’re actually face-to-face with a customer, convincing a person to buy your product. Marketing is the planning part of sales.

Another misconception regarding marketing is that advertising and marketing are synonymous. Similarly, many people have the misconception that publicity and public relations (PR) are also the same thing. They are all, however, remarkably different.

Marketing is kind of an umbrella term that is about promoting your brand or service using a number platforms and strategies. It incorporates strategy and planning and it might consist of a number of elements to make people aware of you or your product.

Advertising, however, falls under that umbrella with its own subsets of disciplines that work to bring attention to your brand or product.

Advertising is really a collection of the actionable steps you take to get the word out usually across a paid for and above the line platforms. Marketing is the strategy behind taking those actions.

You should never do adhoc, one-off or knee-jerk advertising. Running ads left, right and centre just to see which one generates enquiries is a quick way to blow your budget. Running bespoke designed ads for the sake of running ads is a great way to get exposure…….and good to dangle in front of the competition…… but that exposure is unlikely to benefit your business. On that note, why do media sales people STILL continually bang out cold calls offering last minute or late space deals? No recipient of one of these calls should ever sign up to a one-off advert based on price.

What we advise is that you need to sit down and put together a marketing plan or strategy about what your offer is to what market, why you are different and how you’ll get to them. If advertising falls into the discussions, what is the message you want to convey, to who and where are you advertising?

Yes sales, advertising, PR and direct marketing are all elements of “marketing.” But they are elements of it and should work together to give you a proper, planned and fully-costed marketing plan.

 

Establish your brand

The more you look around, the more it becomes evident that most service professionals are alike in relation to winning new business. You may be not be a marketing person or working within marketing services. You may be an accountant, an architect or a solicitor, but whatever the title and sector, we all have tangibles services to offer. Too often these services remain hidden secrets.

This must change!

We must make our services known. We must make our audience aware of our knowledge base and

experience so that our new business suspects could become business prospects and business clients. In every sector competition is fierce and everyone is clambering for attention. Most prospects will find it hard to differentiate between us and find it tricky to understand what the offers are so they need to be marketed to.

Prospects deserve to be spoken to in a professional, informative and considered way. Advertising is everywhere these days. On petrol pumps, on a screen in the post office, on the back of toilet doors, on buildings or even in the air so how do we decipher who is who and what is what?

People play a vital part when deciphering who is who. How may times do you meet the person before the company and say that he/she was so and so from somewhere? Similarly, how a company presents itself, the messaging it uses and the language it employs are also contributory factors. This is called……………the company “Brand.”

I think “brand” is one of those words that is widely used but never 100% understood.  What does “brand” mean, and how has the word’s application changed over time? The first definition of “brand” is the name given to a product or service from a specific source.  Used in this sense, “brand” is similar to the current meaning of the word “trademark.”

However, a brand is not just a logo or an icon. It is what the company stands for. It is the name. How it acts. How it makes people feel. Getting this right and marketing it correctly will ultimately influence whether a business succeeds or fails.

Yes, I am a marketing person and marketing people always go on about the importance of marketing, but take your time before rushing out and buying a cheap website, having a logo designed from an online store for $10, setting up Facebook and then hitting the networking groups. There are companies out there that can help you get it right first time. Yes, they charge, but that is what they do. They are called marketing companies. They are not called advertising agencies, website design agencies or social media agencies. These are likely to be companies “specialising” in 1 or possibly 2 areas of marketing and not the whole suite of marketing techniques.

We receive a lot of enquiries from people who have set out of the traps with their marketing only to regret it 12-18 months later. Cheap can be very expensive so do your research. How do the marketing companies you talk to present themselves? What is their “brand.” Do they speak your language and ultimately, are they nice people who you’re going to get on with?

We are here if you need us and are happy to meet people at our offices for a free initial conversation.