Understanding Sales and Marketing

4 min read

Researches that were done from time to time and various Surveys conducted till date prove that there is no or very little awareness amongst people when it comes to the difference between Marketing and Selling. Only few of them have got their basics correct regarding the facts and still we come across lot of Marketing / Sales Managers who don’t know the basic difference.
Many think marketing was advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Likewise most of them are aware what selling is. If probed more one can get answers like “It is very obvious, isn’t it?”
The difference is very simple and chances are that ninety percent of people don’t know the difference either because nobody’s told them or they didn’t go to university and take a marketing degree.
Here is the difference between marketing and selling. It sounds a little bit complicated and also a little bit academic as well but it is a well known fact.
Marketing is bending product and services supply towards the mind of the customer
Selling is bending the mind of the customer towards product and service supply
So in other words Marketing is the opposite of selling
What this means is that marketing is all about producing products and services that fit the needs of the market place. It starts with market research and then goes through to product or service design, testing prototyping, manufacturing, production, costing, packaging, selling, advertising, promotions, location and much more. Marketing is mostly what the whole company does, selling on the other hand is when you have a product or service already and you go out into the marketplace and convince people or persuade people to buy it.
Selling is nothing else whereas marketing covers a very wide scope of different activities. Selling is a small part of marketing and not the other way around. Interestingly if you think about it for a minute if the whole chain of marketing activities are done correctly then people will always want the product or the service by the time it gets to market because the market research has already demonstrated what people will want with the product.  End result – selling actually becomes quite easy and in some cases it’s not even needed.
Many companies think that marketing is actually advertising and promotion. So they place the so-called marketing department underneath the sales department which of course is the wrong way around.  Selling is always part of marketing and not vice versa. The marketing manager is usually more senior than the sales manager. It is not unusual to have a marketing manager on the board with equal status to a General Manager and that’s because the marketing manager controls about 75% of what the company does. If a sales manager is in charge of a marketing department then things are not going to work out as expected.
Few Pointers for thoughts:

  • Marketing is making things that people have already demonstrated a need for at a certain price before the product or the service is launched into the marketplace.
  • Selling has an emphasis on product while marketing has an emphasis on customer wants.
  • Selling is selling a product regardless of whether people have demonstrated a need for it, whereas marketing is determining what customers want and then working out how to satisfy those want.
  • With selling management is very much volume orientated and certainly profit orientated.
  • With selling business planning is usually short term whereas with marketing business planning is definitely long-term.
  • Selling looks at today’s markets whilst marketing looks at tomorrow’s marketing and future growth.
  • Selling stresses the needs of the seller while marketing stresses the wants of buyers.

Difficulties occur in business when the marketing function fails somewhere along the long line of marketing activities and business activities.  For example, if your products are not sourced at the right prices then this leads to higher retail prices which means it’s harder for the salesperson to sell the product even if the marketplace wants it. Also if the market research was not carried out correctly in the initial stages, maybe the product doesn’t fit the needs of the market and it will never sell at any price.
Remember marketing is bending and designing products and services to fit the mind of the customer and the needs in the marketplace while selling is actually persuading customers to purchase products and services that usually exist.
Selling can actually be hard work if the marketing department hasn’t done their work correctly. Take the right Step and increase your Sales!