Definition of Sales and Marketing
Let’s set the scene: you’re on the couch, relaxing and watching television. Your mom is there watching as well—a commercial comes on that is funny and you both laugh. Your mother then says, “That was some good marketing.”
Now many questions arise: is an entertaining commercial really “marketing”? Is there a lot more that goes into it than just a funny idea? This seems like sales, what’s the difference between sales and marketing? What’s the definition of sales and marketing? What is inbound marketing? What is marketing research? Are there different distribution channels in marketing? The answers to these questions will be answered when we discuss the role of marketing and explain how everything works in this complex world.
Defining sales is pretty easy, as it states, “any of a number of activities designed to promote customer purchase of a product or service. Sales can be done in person or over the phone, through e-mail or other communication media. The process generally includes stages such as assessing customer needs, presenting product features and benefits to address those needs and negotiation on price, delivery and other elements.” (per American Marketing Association).
However, the term “marketing” can yield many different results, and many people may not know what the term truly means. So what does marketing mean? Marketing is defined as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” (per American Marketing Association).
This definition seems a little too simple, right? Especially with the buildup I gave you coming in—well it is correct, but it only covers the general term. There are many different aspects of marketing, such as inbound marketing, the difference between sales and marketing, how to do market research and the different functions of marketing. Now, let’s work on giving a more expanded definition of marketing and helping to understand that there’s a lot more than just creating “offerings that have value for customers.”
Introduction –What is the Purpose of Marketing?
Marketing has many different areas—one of which is inbound marketing, but we’ll get to that later. We’ll then analyze the difference between sales and marketing; then answer the question “what is inbound marketing”, which will include some inbound marketing examples. Finally, we’ll discuss the importance of marketing in business and wrap up what we’ve learned. First, we’re going to list the functions of marketing. In the marketing world there are seven functions of marketing and they are as follows: distribution, financing, market research, pricing, product and service management, promotion and selling.
7 Functions of Marketing
Distribution—Distribution Strategy in Marketing
Distribution strategy in marketing entails how a company is going to deliver its products or services to a customer. This strategy can vary depending on what service or good you’re offering, as there are different distribution channels in marketing. You’re not going to start a digital marketing agency in the middle of a wheat field in Kansas—you probably want to be in an urban area where there’s plenty of businesses around. Distribution strategy in marketing needs to be considered when developing any idea.
Financing—The Role of Marketing in Business
If you want to have a successful marketing campaign, it’s going to take some money. You don’t want to throw all your eggs in one basket, but you still want to create a smart financial plan that allocates some ability to spend, but not so much that you don’t see a profit.
Market Research—Importance of Market Research
Market research is arguably the most crucial of the seven functions. What is marketing research? It revolves around researching your target demographic so you can build a sound marketing strategy. Effective market research requires using tools to find out who you should be targeting based on what you’re selling. If you’re a tech company that came up with a new social media platform, are you going to target octogenarians? Didn’t think so. If you want a more in-depth look at how to do market research, this article is a good starting point.
Pricing—Again, the Importance of Market Research
Once you know how to do market research, you’ll find that market research also can help with pricing. Make sure you’re not losing any profits by selling too low. However, you don’t want to overcharge and then not see any kind of return because customers found a cheaper alternative.
Product and Service Management—Measuring Advertising Effectiveness
In order to prevent falling behind with your customers, you must constantly make improvements to the product or service you offer. By staying on top of customer feedback and online reviews, you can see what’s working and what isn’t. Additionally, employing marketing performance metrics is a smart way to keep up with service management. Interested in learning more about marketing performance metrics? Check out this article
Promotion—What Is Promotion in Marketing?
Promotion involves confirming your advertisements are seen in the right places by the right people. You’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of advertising from your brand’s end, as well as to keep up with which advertising strategies are trending. Advertising on Facebook is certainly a great place to focus your promotion efforts.
Selling—What Is the Difference Between Sales and Marketing?
Selling is NOT marketing. But does provide an essential foundation for marketing. The selling process begins once you’ve completed market research and determined what your prospects want and need.
Speaking of selling, it’s time to discuss another major point: the difference between sales and marketing.
The Difference Between Sales and Marketing
Some people think there’s no difference between sales and marketing. But when it comes to distinguishing between the two, there’s actually a big difference between sales and marketing. Understanding the complexities that separate them isn’t so simple, as they’re more complementary than similar. So you’re probably wondering, “What’s the difference between sales and marketing?”
Let’s start with an example. Say you’re a salesperson from 1995 and you have an amazing product you want to sell. It’s a cell phone, but it also can access the internet and send emails. It even has these amazing things called apps that you can use to play games and check the weather, among other exciting possibilities.
Now you’re probably thinking there obviously were no smartphones in 1995. But this is exactly the point—a salesperson can’t sell something that doesn’t exist. Sales focuses on what salespeople can control, which is selling a tangible, already created product. They don’t pitch ideas—marketers do.
This is the key difference between sales and marketing. Marketers are the ones who create the idea that a salesperson will sell. Then, marketers conduct research to find what customers’ needs are to determine what their needs are.
Another difference between sales and marketing is that marketers stay ahead of changes by anticipating where things are leading, keeping ahead of the competition, and coming up with big ideas. Then, those ideas become tangible and can be sold as products or services.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing does what it sounds like it does: it brings people in. Inbound marketing is the “new(ish) school” method of marketing; instead of outsourcing (or outbound marketing), inbound relies heavily on creating solid content that draws people into your company.
There are many ways to ensure you’ll get results—with all of Google’s advancements, companies can attract more attention by creating content that’s relevant to people’s needs and by using keywords that yield results.
Inbound Marketing Strategy Examples
Now that you know what inbound marketing is, let’s take a look at a few examples of inbound marketing strategy examples:
Social Media—Marketing via Social Media
One of the more recent inbound marketing strategy examples, social media is a great way to engage potential leads. Companies that take advantage of it are most likely to succeed because a whopping 78 percent of the U.S. population have a social profile of some sort—a number that has more than tripled since 2008. By employing social media strategies, you increase your chances of gaining organic leads.
Content Creation—Types of Content Marketing
Need to come up with content that attracts attention? Create a blog! At inSegment, we have our own blog to comment on trending topics and promote the work we do. Any company can self-promote, and a blog is one of the best ways to do it. Also consider generating different types of content marketing, including videos, webinars, infographics, and whitepapers.
Email Marketing—Email as a Service
Email as a Service (EaaS) is another great example of inbound marketing. Marketers can use email marketing to draw attention to solutions that companies or consumers need, and encourage them to learn more with intriguing copy and creative calls-to-action (CTAs). In fact, email marketing is frequently cited as the most important marketing tactic for companies:
These inbound marketing strategy examples are foundational to successful companies everywhere. And if you take advantage of and implement these inbound marketing strategy examples, you can guarantee you’ll see improvements in your business, from increased traffic to better customer relations.
What About Marketing Performance Metrics?
If you want to see how your campaigns are performing, invest in marketing performance metrics, which are a key aspect of marketing and market research that can help your business reach its full potential. Websites such as Marketing Score give you detailed marketing performance metrics that you can analyze to see what you need to improve.
The Importance of Marketing in Business
Ultimately, the main reason for the importance of marketing in business is that companies need to market themselves in order to attract potential customers. If you aren’t reaching out and constantly learning what your target audiences want, it becomes much more difficult to succeed.
Once again, you can’t start to sell if you don’t have a product or service to promote in the first place. This is why the importance of marketing in business is key: regardless of the type of industry your business falls under, if you don’t successfully market yourself, you’ll fall behind the competition.
But taking advantage of tactics like social media and content creation can help enormously. By producing high-quality content that implements best SEO practices, you’ll be better off than where you started—this is why the importance of marketing in business can’t be ignored.
Now You Know the Difference Between Sales and Marketing!
After going over the role of marketing, the functions of marketing, the difference between sales and marketing, distribution strategies in marketing, and other topics, you should be equipped with a better understanding of marketing and its importance. Having a firm grasp on industry trends will benefit any company by increasing profits and keeping everyone happy, from executives and employees to customers.
In the end, the importance of marketing in business cannot be denied. Hopefully these explanations and definitions have shown how marketing helps businesses achieve success by staying ahead of the curve.