I was talking with Steve Bracy at CustomScoop today who — among many other things — oversees our sales and marketing efforts. We were talking about that very subject when he said to me, “What do you think the difference between sales and marketing is?” As is frequently the case, my mental ramblings had made me seem very confused and contradicting myself. So I like to think of this as Steve throwing me a lifeline to rescue myself and see the error of my ways.
Here’s what I settled on: both are designed to increase sales, but marketing is lead generation done through mass communication while sales is typically one-on-one communication with the same goal.
I honestly don’t know what the “experts” would say about that definition. I know that as a founder and CEO, my main interest is in growing revenue through our sales and marketing programs. In my more excitable moments, I will boil marketing down to “Names! Names! Names!” (as in get us more names to sell to) and sales becomes, appropriately enough “Sales! Sales! Sales!”
The one area of marketing that I have generally been skeptical of throughout my business life is branding. Until recently, I would visibly cringe and recoil at the word. Steve and our marketing manager, Sara Adams, learned to omit the word from documents and presentations.
To me “branding” was just a codeword for “marketing that can’t be measured.” I’ve softened a bit in recent months and now I am willing to hear — and even use — the word. But I still have a bias for direct marketing activities that are designed to lead to sales.