Gupta Ji: Hey, Ashish. It’s been so long to see you. What are you doing these days?
Ashish: Hello uncle. I am doing good. These days I am exploring the world of Digital Marketing.
A silence of a few seconds. Gupta Ji wondering about the term “Digital Marketing” and trying to connect a few dots.
Gupta Ji: Oh, nice. A lot of traveling and commission huh?
Well, I have faced this kind of situation quite a lot of times. This post is intended for all Gupta Ji’s league for whom the term Sales, Marketing and Advertising are all the same.
Let’s explore God’s definition first. (में भगवान् को मानु या न मानु लेकिन Google को जरूर मानता हु क्योकि उसको सब पता ह और इसका proof रखता भी ह और देता भी ह मांगने पर | )
- Marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
- Advertising the activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services.
- Sales are the exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something.
By this time you would already have some perception about the terms. Some would re-think and compare their early notion of these terms with the above; others would relate it with their experience with the terms and rest would validate their definition.
Marketing is about reasoning, planning and executing? Not so easy. Does it begin with the research and study of what your consumers want? How they want it? How you will strategically go about your product’s or services’ branding? How much money you are willing to spend on it? YES. Moreover, deciding who should be your ideal audience is a herculean task in itself.
My Indian friends could relate it to the sports films like ‘Chak De India’ or ‘Dangal’. Imagine what would happen if coach Shahrukh Khan didn’t watch other team’s past games or haven’t played any practice match on the playing field. The situation would be different, isn’t it? The chance of winning the finals would remain a dream. If you are on the field without any research about your game then be ready for surprises and only luck can fetch you the gold.
Now let’s explore the term Advertising briefly. In layman terms, if we say, it would be “getting the word out”. Adding more context to it would be getting the product’s name out through your audience’s relevant mediums like radio ads, TV spots, PPC, billboards, flyers, etc. Everybody knows these mediums and must have encountered in your daily lives. Though marketing is mistaken for advertising, advertising does cost money. But if you don’t spend your resources wisely (not just in terms of money) on marketing, the advertising will eventually fail.
Having learned or refreshed the meaning of marketing and advertising, we come down to sales. I am sure many of the readers would think that a salesman coming to you in a mall for credit cards or on the traffic signal, kids selling pens and they never give up until they make that deal and brings home the bacon!
The term is simple. Let’s put it in a few words. “Sales is closing the deal“. Of course, marketing and advertising contribute a lot to get the deal closed. Marketing and advertising might or might not get visibility in the closing stage, but they would always be there. In technical terms, we call it a Multi-Channel Attribution. Get more insights into it here (https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/multi-channel-attribution-modeling-good-bad-ugly-models/#attributionanalysis). Now, let’s take a real life example where a kid tries to sell his bundle of pens. It would be stupid of him if he tries to sell it in front of a stationary shop or low-density area of the city or in the midnight. What the kid does is to find a dense traffic signal area > target people and be consistent in convincing that you need this pen and I need money to survive.
Most of the early incumbents who eagerly need money for their survival often juggle around these terms and find employees who can do all and end up wasting their energy and money in getting out things which are irrelevant.
It should be taken into account and notes that having only a sales department and no marketing or advertising puts all the onus on that salesperson. Also, only marketing and no sales and advertising will not work. Often in a resource constraint environment, it is not possible to set up a team of each domain at once. A smart idea could be to set up these three team in different timings and keep on adding resources, but all these three go hand in hand like an autorickshaw. Sales would be the front wheel and if the back two wheels don’t support the ride is going to fail even if a brilliant product is lying at the back seat and offcourse the CEO would be the driver 😛
The point I am trying to make here is to do marketing and advertising and sales! Skipping or combining any one will only hamper your efforts and lose your resources.