Sales and marketing are often thought of as going hand in hand and in a lot of ways they do. Although strongly related disciplines, sales people and marketing people can often clash. I once overheard a conversation between somebody from a sales department and somebody from a marketing department. They were passionately discussing ideas for an upcoming event.
The sales person was struggling to understand how investing in the event would be a better use of resources than having several good, targeted sales meetings instead. It seems that members of these two departments can have very different views on how to meet targets.
In general, it has been said that sales is about the present and marketing is about the future. Sales people can find it difficult to understand marketing activity that is about long term brand development rather than activities where an immediate return on investment can be identified.
During this overheard debate, the sales woman was saying that if products and services are good enough, then it just takes a decent sales team to explain this to an audience. The marketing person had a different view. She was saying that the look and feel of your branding, online presence and your communications all create an impression and this influences the buyer.
The thing is that these days, people conduct a lot of their own research before making a buying decision and a lot of this research is done online. This means that we no longer need to rely on sales advisers to learn about products and can be well armed with information when we come in to contact with them.
An example often used of great design and marketing working together is Apple. Most would agree that they have some well designed products but Apple go much further. Everything they produce, from instruction manual to product to packaging is consistent in terms of design and taste.
The result is Apple devotees the world over, product lovers and design enthusiasts. The perceived coolness Apple possesses is as much to do with their marketing as it is to do with their technical excellence.
With the enormous changes the internet has brought to communications, commerce, work and play over the past decade or more, it is not only companies who can benefit from marketing themselves well online.
We are always told that we need to sell ourselves as individuals to get on in the world. Well the good news is that we can work on our own marketing too and we can build a presence and make a living (or a fortune if you like) online. One of the best ways to learn how is with SFM and the Digital Experts Academy. Click on the banner below or enter your name and e.mail on the right for your free introduction.