A few years ago, I wrote an article on the topic of marketing at a small business. The article was based on an interview I conducted with a marketing professional who had attended a lecture by a very popular speaker. The speaker had a very interesting question regarding the difference between marketing and sales.
The first question he was asked was, “What is the difference between selling and marketing?” I was surprised he was asked that because it appeared that every person I interviewed in my lecture had that exact question in their head. In fact, the question itself is so similar to the one I had posed to the marketing professional that I suspect they may have been on a first-name basis.
Marketing is essentially any kind of business plan, sales are the actual events that occur through the business itself. Marketing isn’t about what the customer sees and hears. It is about how the customer perceives the product or service. For example, if you are a baker and you want to sell your baked goods, that’s marketing. But if you want to sell them to a restaurant, that’s sales because it’s putting them out on the street.
As you can see, marketing is a lot more than selling things. It really is a lot more than just selling the idea that you have something to sell. Now before someone is like, “OMG I am totally confused!” let me explain. Marketing is about the customer perceiving and buying your product or service. In order to do that you have to have a product or service.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of product, when we think of food, we think of something that has to do with making food, but that’s not true of baked goods. If you are a baker you are selling a product. But before you get to that point, you have to decide what your product is and what it does. This is the definition of marketing.
marketing is about being able to create a demand for your product through the use of a product. For example, if you sell a product called “Muffin Tins” you have to have a demand for muffins. A demand is something that a consumer has that is so strong that they want to purchase your product. How do you get a demand? You have to market your product or service so that people will want to buy it.
That’s true. You can’t just tell people what you’re doing, you have to tell them why they should want to buy it. Like all good marketing you have to have a message to tell people. The message for pudding in the case of muffin tins is that you can make them very tasty. You have to tell people why they should buy it.
It’s not just marketing, when you’re the one making the product you have to have a message that people can understand. This is particularly true when you’re dealing with new products or services. You have to tell people why they should buy them. The messages are the same, you need to be able to explain the benefits of the product in terms that people can understand.
There are a few ways to do this. The first and most obvious is the use of a whiteboard. I use a notebook and a pen and paper a lot, and I make sure that when I make a statement or question I write it out on the whiteboard in my own words and then write it down in the notebook. Then I write the answer on the opposite side of the whiteboard.
This is a pretty common technique used in the business world.