Sales and marketing
Sales and marketing are the means by which your business creates income and generates cash flow. These are essential components of a healthy business and creating a sales and marketing strategy is essential for all new businesses. There are many techniques which fall under the broad banners of sales and marketing, and creating a strategy that works for your business requires careful consideration of your product, your marketplace and your industry. Sales and marketing are both means of customer acquisition.
What is the difference between sales and marketing?
Marketing and sales are vastly different practices, but both have the same goal of creating income. Technically, selling could be considered as the final stage of marketing, though it is a broad enough practice to be considered a discipline in its own right.
Marketing techniques are focused on increasing the visibility and desirability of the product - getting it seen and appreciated by potential buyers. Inevitably, this includes a huge amount of research and strategy, as to make a product more appealing to a certain part of the market requires that you understand the attitudes and behaviours of that market segment intimately.
Marketers use market research to inform strategic decisions about how to package and present the product or service, what style of communication to use, the look and feel of the advertising, the pricing of the product, how to reach new customers, how to entice them to buy sooner, and many other considerations.
Sales, on the other hand, is about moving the stock which is currently being held. In the broadest terms, it is the practice of education and persuasion. The most common professional in this field is the salesperson, who uses their knowledge of the product and their position in the business to help customers find the product that is right for them and become comfortable with making the purchase. While there are many techniques to do this, they all focus around creating a perception of value in the mind of the customer - whether the product or service solves a problem or confers a benefit.
What are the most examples of selling?
- Retail sales are conducted from a physical store, usually in a fixed location. Salespeople staff the store to assist, persuade and upsell customers, and to prevent theft.
- Direct sales are conducted away from a fixed location, and include strategies like door-to-door selling, party plan selling (e.g tupperware) and public demonstrations.
- Cold calling is the practice of making unsolicited contact through the phone to make sales.
- Online selling can be done using eCommerce systems, like an online store or a digital marketplace.
What are the most common examples of marketing?
Every business engages in some kind of marketing, and we see it every day. Common marketing practices include:
- Online marketing, including
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Search Engine Marketing
- Public relations
- Multi-level marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Direct marketing
Keep in mind though that marketing is a broad, multi-skill discipline. While they are not marketing practices or techniques, the following considerations are key to any small business marketing strategy:
- Graphic design
- Product design and packaging
- Copywriting, content writing and blogging
- Market research