Don’t blame marketing for the lack of sales

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

We all know of many companies who have single positions of “Sales and Marketing”. Often times, these are the same companies who blame marketing for the lack of sales. And most of the time it’s the advertising or marketing agency that becomes the “fall guy” for the poor sales numbers. They believe since sales didn’t increase, that the marketing campaign was a failure. In my opinion this type of thinking is not just wrong, but can be detrimental to the growth and health of a company.

In it’s true essence, marketing is a way to introduce your company, service, product to the marketplace. It’s a way to set yourself, your brand, as unique from other competitors who have similar products, with similar prices, and similar features. Now all of this has nothing to do with sales. Marketing isn’t a one-on-one tactic. Marketing is telling as many people as possible who you are and what you offer to make their lives better, easier, more luxurious, cooler, etc. Marketing’s ultimate goal is to bring interest to your company, product, service. Sales’ ultimate goal is to make the one-on-one sale.

Sales is the singular activity that makes the final pitch to show a prospect that buying from your company is a worth while engagement. Whether it’s brick-n-mortar or the virtual store, sales comes down to the moment of truth. By then you have had to made your story compelling and engaging through marketing to get them to consider you in the first place. It’s up to the “sales” effort to get them to take action.

Here is a elementary, but clear, example. Say your child no longer wants to play the violin. So, you make a sign saying “Gently used violin for sale”. You hang it in a local store. You ask people to call for details. The sign you made is marketing. The store is the media channel. The phone conversation with Mr. Jones – describing your child’s violin, the quality, how new it is, and how little it’s been played – that’s sales. Marketing introduced Mr. Jones to you. You become the sales department.

Sales and marketing are different disciplines. Most companies are good at sales. Most companies are not good at marketing mostly because they try to sell when they really need to be marketing. That’s where advertising agencies bring their real value. They are marketers, not sales companies. Trying to sell someone who doesn’t know who you are and what you stand for turns you into the type of salesman that we all hate being around whether if it’s an individual or a company. Sales without marketing, people feel like they’re being “hustled”. If you get your marketing right, making the sale will be easier.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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