Marketing vs Sales

marketing vs sales

Marketing VS Sales do you think they are the same? Is one better than the other? and Do you need both? Let’s find out.

Marketing is the part where you make customers aware of your product and sales occur when they get customers to purchase it.

So you could put in a lot of effort into marketing but it doesn’t really pay off until you make sales.

Similarly, it takes a lot of investment in marketing to make sales.

It’s a pretty interlinked concept, but I’ll be helping you differentiate marketing vs sales and the tactics that you can use to be successful in both.

The process that connects both ideas is the marketing funnel:

So the blue stages are where you’ll need to market your product and the green stages are when you need to focus on maximizing sales.

Let’s check out the strategies and tools for marketing vs sales that you can use to efficiently surpass each stage:

Marketing Strategies

#1. Blogging & SEO

You’ll require proper SEO and a good blog to accomplish the first step of your marketing funnel i.e. brand awareness.

Before, brand awareness was focused primarily on word of mouth and other outdoor marketing techniques.

However, now the best way to create awareness (especially for small businesses) is through digital marketing, and Search Engine Optimisation is crucial for making sure that your brand has online visibility.

There are a number of ways that you can optimize your website and online content so that it ranks higher in search results:

  • Create a blog
  • Use a good web design
  • Make sure your website loads in under 3 seconds
  • Use relevant keywords and place them at the top
  • Use clear headings and meta descriptions
  • Generate backlinks from high authority blogs
  • Create a mobile-friendly website

There is so much I can get into when it comes to SEO but since I need to discuss other marketing strategies, you can check out my detailed guide on how to master SEO which will provide you with all the technical details.

Once you have mastered the art of SEO, your website will automatically rank on the top when customers search for your product on Google or other search engines.

#2. Pay-per-click

If you feel like your strategy needs an extra boost despite SEO, you can always go for PPC ads:

PPC ads rank right at the top, above all the organic search results which means that 65% of consumers click on paid ads.

Plus, the marketing strategy has a 200% ROI which is why most marketers are constantly increasing their PPC budgets.

You can place your ads on search engines, websites, social media and most other digital platforms.

It also helps to retarget customers after they’ve left your site without purchasing anything because sometimes, all they need is a push to complete their purchase:

Retargeting is most effective in the evaluation and justification stage of the marketing funnel.

Carry it out once the customer has enough knowledge and awareness about your product and is on the fence about making a purchase from you.

#3. User-generated content

Word of mouth is currently the most trust rich form of communication.

88% of customers will trust online reviews, which means they’re believing the recommendations of complete strangers.

The reason behind that is, unlike influencers, existing customers are not paid to promote a brand and they have real experiences with the brand which helps others determine whether the business is worth purchasing from or not.

But you know what’s better than your online reviews?

Promoting user-generated content. You can do this by sharing reviews uploaded by customers as social media posts or stories, feedback videos and so much more:

It’s always better to focus on visuals rather than text because they are much more engaging and trustworthy.

A written review could be from anyone – fake accounts, family or friends etc, but social media posts with pictures or videos provide visual proof of the customer experience which is more believable; thus, making potential customers more inclined to try your product/service.

#4. Influencers

There’s a key difference between influencers and traditional celebrities – influencers have a huge fan following on social media.

So Jennifer Aniston was a traditional celebrity up until two months ago because she didn’t even have an Instagram, but now that she made one and hit millions of followers instantly, she falls in the influencer group whenever she promotes a product.

Here are 3 things you should know about influencer marketing:

So basically, influencer marketing is a pretty effective strategy but its essential if you’re targetting millennials and teenagers because they’re the generation that’s comfortable with technology and they follow influencer recommendations the most:

Plus, they will cost you less as compared to hiring traditional celebrities, and yet they’re still more effective because consumers believe that a high fan following means trustworthy content that works for people.

Marketing Tools

Trust me when I say I’ve done my share of research for the best marketing tools out there.

It’s to the point where my social media feeds only target marketing tools ads at me, which is amusing since I don’t own a business or currently market one.

Here are the best marketing tools (overall in terms of pricing, feature, and ease of use) that you can find in 2020:

  • HubSpot
  • HootSuite
  • Google+

With Google, you can market your business for free but you’ll need additional tools like the ones I listed above to monitor the performance and success of your marketing efforts.

Check out a detailed review of these marketing tools if you’re looking to invest in one.

Sales Strategies

The post-purchase stages aren’t as intensive as the marketing stages, but they are definitely crucial, and you’ll learn why:

#1. Loyalty programs

Even if you improve customer retention by a mere 5%, your profits will increase by 25%.

But let’s take a look at what makes loyalty programs so powerful in generating profits:

Loyalty programs are all about meeting the individual needs and demands of each customer and making them feel valued.

It’s easier to invest in that rather than trying to attract new customers. Why?

Because you’d have to start all over with the marketing funnel and go through every stage to convince potential customers to buy your product.

With existing customers, all you have to do is keep them satisfied in order to ensure that they make a repeat purchase.  

Check out these examples of the most innovative loyalty programs that businesses have come up with so far:

  • Memberships

This is a fairly new concept that is becoming very popular among businesses.

It allows loyal customers to enjoy exclusive benefits like faster delivery or lower prices if they sign up for memberships; thus, motivating them to make repeat purchases.

With over 100 million subscribers, Amazon Prime is probably the most successful membership introduced by any business so far.

The retail giant charges a monthly fee to its members in exchange for a number of benefits, including:

Similarly, there are brands that charge ‘membership prices’ i.e. discounted prices on products in exchange for a monthly membership fee.

  • Rewards

Loyalty programs that offer rewards are based on the traditional point system that we had with plastic cards.

The only difference is that businesses have shifted to digital systems to improve convenience for loyal customers who had to carry multiple cards in their wallets.

The coffeehouse giant Starbucks has a very popular reward system.

With its app, customers can collect points at every purchase and use those to collect the following rewards:

This is extremely useful for customers who grab a quick cup of coffee or snack every day on their way to work and at lunch since they get to save a good amount of money.

Plus, from a marketer’s point of view, Starbucks has strengthened its position as the biggest coffeehouse network globally by ensuring that regular customers remain happy and don’t switch to competitor brands.

#2. Advocacy

An advocacy program is when you reward your customers for referring your brand to other customers, and it’s a great strategy.

If you want to expand your business and attract more customers, what better way to do it than through existing customers?

Instead of doing the grunt work and going through the entire process of convincing potential customers to try out your product, you can do it the easy way.

But it will cost you.

You’ll have to provide really good incentives to your customers to get them to advocate your brand.

Take the example of Tesla. It offered a whopping $1000 discount for both the customer and the referred client on their new order:

Plus, it even offered access to an exclusive model that hadn’t been released to the public for loyal customers that referred 10 people; thus, making sure car enthusiasts turned towards Tesla and no other brand – a very smart move in such a competitive industry.

#3. Upselling

I love this tactic but you’ll have to train very skilled employees to get the job done right.

As the name suggests, upselling is when you get your customers to buy more expensive products/services than they originally intended to buy.

It’s very tricky because you don’t want to annoy your customers with promotions of things they don’t need and you also need to gain their trust to get them to listen to you.

The key to getting this right is to know your customer and give them honest opinions.

Plus, this works best when your target audience comprises of wealthier socio-economic classes.

So I love how Toni & Guy, the British based salon, goes about this.

Every time I go in for a haircut, they’ll recommend a product or treatment for my hair by explaining why I need it and what I can gain from it.

Plus, they’ll only give their opinion and not push me to the point where I feel like they’re only trying to make sales.

This technique works well if your employees or you have an existing relationship with customers; for example, I’ve always wanted to get my teeth whitened but my dentist recommends against it since bleaching causes sensitivity.

Now that I know she won’t sell me something that is harmful or unsuited to me, I’ll trust her when she advises me to go for an expensive treatment.

Sales Tools

When it comes to differentiating between sales and marketing tools, the line can seem a bit blurry.

However, it’s pretty simple.

Your sales tools are those that help you analyze the entire marketing funnel to track how you are making sales and whether the amount of sales reaches your targeted goal.

It’s a pretty broad area, but here are my favorite tools to use for this purpose:

  • CrazyEgg
  • KISSMetrics
  • Selenium

These will help you understand the sales process, monitor it and automate processes in order to improve your future strategy.

Conclusion Marketing Vs Sales

Without marketing, it would be very difficult to make sales and without sales, marketing would have a harder time getting customers to purchase the product being marketed.

Even the strongest global brands like Apple carry out the occasional TVC advertisements and focus heavily on instilling loyalty through different tactics.

I hope you can now understand the difference between marketing vs sales and the relationship between both because marketing is a pre-requisite to sales and they both co-exist.

It’s an ongoing, repeated process.

You need to market your product to generate sales and then carrying out further marketing to make more sales until your business has reached its full capacity.

To ensure success, you need to follow the strategies I’ve listed above and use the right tools to save time, costs and improve accuracy.

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