Everything starts with a sale. Marketing does not equal sales, or vice versa. Yet, smaller organizations frequently get along fine without a formal marketing function - for a time. Many companies view the sometimes complex functions of marketing as a cost-of-sales, rather than a driver of sales. They wait too long before seriously considering an investment in marketing. Marketing is best implemented before the first dark clouds appear on the sales and profit horizon. With marketing in place, businesses can even circumvent sales and profit-zapping issues as they crop up, and new challenges arise.
Every sales professional knows instinctively what it takes to prospect for leads, right?
Yes, and no. The vigilant sales person:
1) sows the seeds for sales throughout a network that extends to industry groups, peers and acquaintances;
2) is in personal touch with customers to short circuit any customer service issues while probing for new ways to add customer value.
3) provides market intelligence for future product or service development.
4) cannot consistently deliver the same message to every customer all of the time.
Sales is king, but even a king needs support
The need for improved sales and profitability - the multiplication of sales - manifests itself when existing sales processes need a marketing kick, i.e. help that goes beyond one-on-one selling, especially as sales goals change.
Marketing is the multiplication of sales efforts, and comes into play before, during and after a sale. More than simple one-shot-wonder promotions and advertising, marketing orchestrates many tools to help develop and maintain customer dialog - and profitability.
1) softens the field for sales.
2) gets prospects to raise their hands for a sales contact.
3) Perhaps most importantly, marketing helps convey a company's brand to knock down barriers to a sale, lift customer expectations for doing business with a company, creating a preference in the market for a company's goods or services.
Send in the clowns
Prospecting, networking, customer support, and all aspects of customer development that lead to long term customer value is a continuum to be broken at great risk to sales and profits.
Marketing, the anecdote
Marketing is comprised of the strategy, tactics, and the creative implementation of a plan to ensure: fresh sales leads, timely customer communications, non-stop customer service, and continuous development of relevant product and services leading to improved sales, market share, and profitability. Coordinated advertising, PR, website, and other media campaigns create value in a customer's mind. With these tools savvy marketers are able to rise above their competition with better profit margins.