After production of goods and services, a company puts on measure to ensure that these products get to their target customers. Selling and marketing have been used interchangeably although they are different. A marketer is not necessarily a sales-man and the opposite is true. Misunderstanding of the difference has lead to the phrase that “Marketing is really just selling with a posh name”.
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Marking the difference of the two is important for business, as managers will know where they should concentrate their efforts to have a winning business (Reid and Richard, 2004). This paper looks into the similarities and difference between marketing and sales as it discusses the phrase “Marketing is just selling with a posh name”
Marketing v/s sales
Marketing is defined as sum of all efforts involved in creating interest in potential customers in one’s products or services and efforts put in place to retain existing customers. Chartered Institute of Marketing identifies three major functions of marketing: identifying, anticipating and satisfying all stakeholders. Stakeholders according to the institute definition are customers, employees, partners, society and shareholders (Oster, 1994). The process of marketing follows the following steps:
Marketing research takes a scientific approach where the company looks into the potential of a certain market. It aims at identifying market trends and size. After the situation of the market has been analyzed, in terms of potential and strength of competitors, what follows is developing a marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy is a well thought process through which a company gets its products in the target market amidst of prevailing competition. It involves products development, resource allocation, market segmentation, and positioning of a company’s products.
A market segment is that part of the general population, with similar characteristics and persuaded by similar factors. These characteristics include age, income, gender and social class. A marketer must recognize the segment of the market to sell its products and services (Michael, 1997).
A target market is a subset of a market segment that a company sets its selling efforts to. It may be a certain locality or a certain country. Identifying the target market assists a company device the mechanisms to use in distributing goods and services to the specific market.
Positioning of the market
Market positioning is creating a need in the mind of potential customers that make them think of the company’s products as superior than those of competitors. The perception that a company creates to its customers determine whether they will be willing to work with the company or not (Peter, 2006).
Creating a value preposition
A value preposition is creating something that offers more satisfaction or increases the utility of a customer.
After market research have been conducted and the target market correctly identifies, it follows making marketing mix decision
According to Porter 1985, a marketing mix has four major components, products, price, promotion and place. The four components of marketing mix are not dealt with in isolation rather they are blended together for better result (Peelen, 2006).
At this stage, the marketer is interested in developing products that satisfy the needs of target customers in terms of quality and quantity. To be competitive, a company must consider the level of utility that customers are deriving from its products and services. It should aim at increasing the utility through continuous products innovation and inventions.
Improving ones products ensures that a company has continued business. It is not the role of marketing team to manufacture products however; their input in product development goes a long way in producing products that satisfy customers (Sadler, 2003).
The price that goods and services will be sold to target market is an important competitive phenomenon to consider. Prices should be high enough to cater for costs and give a company a profit margin. To have competitive products, their prices should be affordable to the target market. Being competitive does not necessarily mean that products are cheap, but it means that price that majority of the target population can afford. Marketing team has a major role to play when setting of prices.
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After establishing the target market, physical presence of goods when they are needed at the right quality and quantity follows. The marketing team is mandated with the task of establishing the best supply methods to be adopted. It should consider factors like cost of distribution, efficiency and the reliability of the chosen method.
Promotional campaigns are targeted at ensuring that the market can learn more about the presence of a certain commodity in the market. It encompasses massive advertising and sale promotion to create a loyal market (Peelen, 2006).
Selling is an activity in the entire marketing where a company embarks on measure that will persuade a customer to part with resources for value offered by the company. However, all marketing efforts aim at supporting selling activities. Marketing is the simulating force for sales; it creates a path and foundation that sales people can build on.
Marketing improves the environment of sales where they may call sales people to assist them in expanding and creating more market for goods and services like sales promotions, advertising, and creating new sales channels. There is much interaction between selling activities and marketing activities. They have a similar goal of creating awareness and more business for a company but they do it at different levels (Gitomer, 2003).
Arguments for “Marketing’s really just Selling with a posh name”
The goal of marketing and sales is the same; that is to create more business to a company through expanding the customer base. Both of them have the customer as the center stage and conduct their activities in a way that improves the relationship between the customer and a company. They share strategies like adverting, promotions and creating good public relations.
For example, when an automobile company manufactures an environmentally friendly vehicle, the sales people will use the new development as a tool to sell to their customers. They will stress on the benefit that the development have on customers lives. They will try to create selling networks from a sale in their aim to increase sales.
Marketing the same product will involve a similar process where the marketing department having studied the market recognized of what the people would be in need at that particular time and advised the company accordingly. The marketer will be interested in improving the quality and utility of the customer, as he increases sales. They thus share same objectives and goals (Elliott,Rundle-Thiele and Waller, 2010).
Augments against “Marketing is just selling with a posh name”
The most important thing in a marketers mind is not physical cash collection from a sale, but it is to create an increased awareness of the existence of certain products in the market. They believe that when a need in the society has been established, through a market research, and then a company goes forward and makes product to fill the gap, then a company only need to create awareness of the existence of the products and customers will buy them (Kotler and Armstrong, 2001).
Sales is an activity in marketing supported by efforts made by marketers. It involves exchange of value for monetary gain. What comes first in the mind of a sales man is how goods can find their way to the targeted customers. They are focused on collecting of money after a successful sale. The issues they face when selling are advised with the marketing team so as when they are addressed, sales team can have an easy time selling their products.
In most cases, sales are in close contacts with target market. The contact may be one-on-one like the case of direct sales or may be through different communication media like internet.
This makes the sales take a micro angle. In the case of marketing, they only get to single customers when they are collecting data to improve their products and services, otherwise their focus is on the larger market. They aim at creating a pleasant working environment through improving products, ensuring that products are sold at a competitive price and creating availability of goods and services.
For example, when an automobile company like Toyota comes up with a new model, the model is a result of interaction and market survey conducted by the marketing team in different countries. The price to be sold is then set, the quality and positioning statement are developed.
When the products are ready and campaigns to create their awareness conducted, then the sales team starts selling the products to individual or corporate customers. They may have a chance to negotiate and reduce prices or adjust the needs of specific customers. The marketing team may come only later to gauge the degree of satisfaction that customers are deriving from the product for product improvement (Mowen and John, 2004).
Sale, marketing, and marketing theory
The main aim of a marketing theory is to increase a company output though value creation to its customers. It aims at offering value for money. A marketing theory looks into all process that a company involves in ensuring that they are adding value to their customers. Sales and marketing share in the main goal of a marketing theory, and they are seen as major element to the fulfillment of the theory.
Recommendations to avoid the misconception
A company should have the sales department as a separate department from marketing department. Care should be taken to ensure that they work in harmony. Employees in either department should be well trained of their roles. A perception of competition among them should not be created. Both departments should be supporting each other make decision and fulfill their goals. For example they can have periodical meetings were they brainstorm issues encountered in the field and look for lasting solutions together.
A misconception exists that sales and marketing mean the same; however, they are different. The misunderstanding comes because they have similar objectives and sometimes they use similar mechanisms to attain their goals. The major difference between sales and marketing is on their scope. Marketing creates a path for sales through a universal approach whereas sales have a micro approach as one activity in marketing.
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