What is the Difference Between Marketing and Sales?

When thinking of marketing and sales and what the difference is, we tend to scratch our heads. Both activities that go into this topic have the same result, generating an income base for the company. What is the definition of marketing?  Marketing refers to the events that take place in a company connected with buying and selling a product or service. Depending on the size of the company, typically depends on the approach in reaching its audience.  A baker in a small town just starting out may use the newspaper. Whereas a restaurant owner of a major food chain may utilize television, and the internet to reach its clientele.  Before we break down marketing in more detail let us look at the definition of sales.  Sales can be described as a deal between two parties where the buyer receives goods, services, and/or assets in exchange for money. It can also be a contract or an agreement between a buyer and seller on the price of a security. Sales deals with the face to face communication, but have expanded greatly.  People no longer must speak with a person to receive their goods.  One can simply go online, place an order and wait for it in the mail.  This is technology at its finest!

Difference Between Marketing and Sales

One of the differences between marketing and sales is the long-term vs. the short-term goal.  Marketing deals with the who, what, where, and how.  Who are we trying to reach, what are we selling, where are we marketing and how will we market the product?  What needs and demands will be presented with the product.  These questions are built on a strategy to build long-term relationships with their customers.

Let us look at a make-up product, for instance, say foundation.  Who is our target audience?  For the purpose of this article, the target audience will be women over 50 years of age.  Now, we must determine how to reach out to them. Market orientation is a business way of life where the emphasis is on categorizing customer needs or wants and meeting them. Most women over fifty need a product that reduces fine lines and wrinkles.  This means the marketing group must conduct research and review trends of this age range.  Producing a product that will stand up to the consumers’ expectations.  Once that is determined, next a business can focus on what kind of cost will be associated with the product.  Is your target audience for every income class or a select group?  Depending on how much it cost to make the product could determine that inquire for you.  Together this will set the tone for how you will reach your audience and the price of the product.

Technology has grown and allows us to influence others at any time of the day. Advertising was so simple but is quickly advancing. It used to be as simple as placing an ad in the paper to showing a commercial between a sitcom. Now, short attention spans allow consumers to pay networks extra not to see ads. This makes it difficult for marketers to reach the population. Marketing groups need to determine when and where they communicate to their audience by strategizing the times, they may be watching tv or online. Companies now must go as far as to pay social media platforms like Facebook to release their ads throughout our scrolling adventures. This of course takes some serious continuous observation on a marketing group. Working with websites and developing apps is becoming the norm in the marketing world.

Enough about marketing for now.  Let us focus our attention back on sales.  Sales deals with getting the product to the consumer.  Sales progress relationships with customers. They knock down the doors, overcome objections, exchange prices and terms and often work on the inside to be sure their customer’s orders are fulfilled. Sale orientation does not focus so much on the needs of the consumer like market orientation.  Sales orientation is based on the belief that people will buy more goods and services if aggressive sales techniques are used and that high sales result in high profits. Aggressive now there is a word.  Ever go into a mall and there is someone trying to offer something and all you can think of is how can I get past them without them seeing me.  Sales orientation can also come off passive-aggressive and you would not even think twice about it.  Ever notice the “buy two, get one free” deals.  That is an example of sales orientation.  Companies trying to make a quick buck off the consumer, because the consumer believes it is a deal.  This is that short-term goal that was mentioned earlier.  The failure in this is the lack of time and energy that goes into maintaining relationships.

When looking at marketing and sales, why would anyone care to study these two topics outside of being a business owner?  Knowing the trade of the two could potentially make you a better consumer.  Being aware of what to look for and how to research a product before making a purchase.  This is exactly what the marketing department does.  Have you ever been watching television or scrolling on Facebook and saw something you did not even know you wanted? This is another tactic of marketing.  Marketing is about being in the now and future forward-thinking.  It is well known and a cliché in marketing, that marketing cannot generate a need, but many marketing operations bring notice to products and the desirability of owning that product.

Back to business owners studying marketing and sales.  To truly understand your target audience requires more than just having a product and trying to get someone to purchase it.  There is a relationship that marketing and sales shares.  Understanding, the thought processes of consumers and their behavior take time to develop.  Mastering the two takes educating oneself.

In conclusion, marketing is the process of promoting, advertising, and research that goes into selling a product.  Sales refer to when one person gives a product to another for the exchange of money.  The two have unique differences when it comes to the long-term and short-term goals with the consumer.  Marketing is interested in the needs of the consumer.  This takes understanding your audience and building a long-term relationship to establish repeat business.  Sales result is to generate an income as quickly as possible for the company.  Studying marketing and sales can help a company thrive by understanding the thought processes of their consumers to keep their interest no matter how short their attention spans may be.

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