As we all know, selling and marketing are the key processes for maintaining business growth.
But while these processes are familiar ones, their definitions are often blurry and, in some cases, the two concepts are considered to be one and the same!
However, they are distinct and it’s important for organizational leaders and personnel to maintain an understanding of each process and to apply them both in a coordinated fashion.
Let’s start with some basic definitions.
Marketing is about telling the world about what we do or offer and refers to the activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. It is an ideal process for generating an awareness and, hopefully, interest in what a business offers.
Selling is a transaction where a good or service is being exchanged for money; it also refers to the process of persuading a person or organization to buy something based on an assessment of their needs. Or, for a pithier definition, you might consider one that is attributed to Ruth Stafford Peale, wife of the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, who coined the simple phrase, “Find a need and fill it.”
A related process that must also be considered is branding, which goes a step further than sales or marketing as, in statement form, it defines the customer experience. A good branding statement will create a positive perception of our organization and its products in our customer’s mind. It might be a component of a marketing statement, but it will encompass not only what we do but also how we do it and/or why our customers like it.
Examples might include, “Service with a smile!” or “We try harder!” (Avis) or “Have it your way” (Burger King).
The Most Important Part
While the definitions and details are good to know, the most important part is to recognize the significant impact branding has as a component of our value proposition, and to put this knowledge into practice.
People make decisions based on both facts and feelings. This is why leading organizations engage in sales, product marketing, and brand marketing. Good branding statements impact feelings… the way buyers or prospects feel about us and our organization. The ‘sense’ a buyer might have of what the customer experience will be like if he or she says, “yes” to our offer. The trust… the respect.
So, what’s your plan for both product and brand marketing, and for incorporating branding statements – both personal and organizational – into presentations, sales calls and conversations?