Marketing vs Selling

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/27/2007 | Marketing
New Marketers are sometimes confused about the differences between marketing and selling. In point of fact marketing is simply the act of "bringing the product to market". Selling on the other hand is the final steps one takes to "close a sale" convert a prospective buyer into a customer, or "making a conversion".

At it's core marketing is essentially nothing more than research. That is to say it's about identifying groups potential buyers and then finding the best way of bringing the product to their attention, generally through some form of advertising.

Once potential customers have been identified, marketers will try to reach them by developing what is called the "Marketing Message". The more closely this message resonates with the wants needs or desires of prospective customers the better the odds of making a conversion, aka, closing sales.

Marketing on-line has some distinctive advantages to off line marketing methods. On marketers can conduct market research using search engines or keys word searches using specialized programs as well as various other methods.

In minutes the online marketer can accumulate highly accurate real time data on what people are looking at, or looking for on-line. The value of this powerful research capability can not be understated.

On-line or off, marketing and sales seem sometime to overlap in the development of what is commonly known as the "pitch". The pitch of course is how the marketing message is delivered. It's where the marketing "rubber" meets the road so to speak.

If the marketing has been done properly then the marketing message will be clearly delivered in ad copy, sales copy or by what ever means it is brought before the prospective customer.

Selling is more closely associated with a process called overcoming objections. It is a much more intimate one to one technique where a buyer "assists" a prospective customer in making a "buying decision".

Part of the marketing process is to actually uncover potential objections which might prevent a prospect from being converted to a customer. Selling is in fact where all that marketing research is applied at the point of sale.

While many would say that marketing is only a numbers game, it is really is an art as well. Successful marketers often seem to have an instinct for how to reach prospective customers that goes beyond simply number crunching. They simply seem to know what makes people tick, or perhaps more to the point, what makes them buy.

With Internet Marketing in particular there is a tremendous focus on the numbers. How many thousands, or even million potential customers will see an ad or get an email. It's easy to get the feeling that if only you have a big enough audience, sales will automatically follow.

Unfortunately many novice markets have fallen into the trap of thinking that bigger numbers make for greater success. It's no wonder then that so many fail to achieve any success at all.

Part of a good marketing plan of course is all about getting the marketing message in front of as many people as possible, not just any people of course, but the right people at the right time.

If marketing is done well it simply disappears behind the neat graphics and sparkling ad copy. The marketing message come shining through and to stimulate, motivate or excite exactly the right people.

When marketing is done well products virtually sell themselves.