Intuitively we know Marketing, Branding and Sales are different things, but what’s the distinction? Each has a purpose, distinct from, but complementary to, the other.
in our business operations every day. In truth you use them in your day-to-day life as well, but here we want to focus on how they apply to commerce.
Read on for more on these interlocking elements.
What’s The Difference?
Each feeds the other, and they don’t necessarily always work in the same order. Sales is generally the logical conclusion to an effective Marketing and Branding campaign, but on-the-spot sales can happen, after which, if the customer has a good experience, they become aware of your brand — as well as becoming more receptive to future marketing.
So how do they break down?
Sales are the convincing of the potential customer, the final step or steps that drive home the purchase. Convincing could come in the form of a written piece on your website that closes the sale, a direct conversation with the customer, or anything else that makes the final case for purchase and convinces the customer to pull the trigger and buy your product.
Marketing gets them there. Marketing generates the interest that brings them to the point where they can then be convinced (sold) and closed.
Branding is influence. Branding appeals to our desires, touches our emotions, makes us feel a connection with what the brand represents. This may sound a little intangible, and in many ways it is.
But emotion drives our lives, and if we feel strongly about something, in this case a brand, we’re much more likely to choose it, even defend it — oftentimes without even considering other options.
Sales Is Convincing
Sales rely on a person being convinced. When you’re at this stage a lot has been done already (in most cases) to get them there. Now it’s time to handle objections, reinforce the convictions and the need for solutions that brought them this far, then convince them to commit to the purchase.
Sales is the final piece of the puzzle. However, despite getting most of the glory, sales, as an action, isn’t everything. Sales gets a lot of focus because that’s where the final, hard numbers are calculated. “We made X-number of sales this quarter! Yay!”
True, sales are a big deal, but the whole puzzle needs to be complete in order for things to work. Your business relies on each element — sales, marketing, branding — achieving maximum results in order to succeed.
Marketing Is Generating
Leads. Interest. Attention. When you’re marketing you’re generating traffic for your products and your brand. You’re calling attention to what you have to offer.
Anything and everything you can do to attract and keep customers. That’s marketing.
Marketing is generating business.
Branding Is Influencing
As much as we realize the vital importance of branding, it’s the one thing that often, especially in smaller enterprises, gets the least attention. Companies pick a name, maybe a logo, figure they’ve now got a “brand” and simply move on. Little attention is given to cultivating everything that means.
If a business is an entity, a brand gives it its identity. A business without an identity might do well, it might pull off some short-term successes, but with an identity it’s built to go the distance. Even if taking the time to develop the identity costs a few quick, early successes, that time spent on your brand pays dividends in the end.
Seem like that would be worth investing real time and energy into?
And so it is. A recognized, emotionally connected, influencing brand that resonates with your customers can go a long way toward so many aspects of a successful enterprise.
- Customer loyalty
- Word of mouth (the Holy Grail of marketing)
- Fault tolerance (customer forgiveness)
- Product recognition
All are strengthened by, if not dependent on, solid branding.
More than that, with a strong brand you can hook new customers before they actually even need your product or service. With a strong brand they’ll already be thinking of you when it comes time to buy.
Completing The Puzzle
Everything is about approach. Mind-set. When you’re doing your marketing, branding and sales, it helps to have a clear picture of what each is meant to achieve. More, it helps to understand how each fits with, and compliments, the other.
These three actions comprise the complete identity of your company. How is it reaching people? How is it perceived? How engaged are people with it?
See to the whole puzzle, understand it, and watch your business soar.
To your success.
Your ManageByStats Team