“I honestly believe that marketing is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.” – Stewart Leahy (Yorkshire Powerhouse)
Marketing and Selling are close bed fellows and should remain as such. The easiest way to understand the different between the two is to consider selling as ‘pushing’ and marketing as ‘pulling’ – and to run a successful business you’ll definitely need a bit of both!
Selling: Selling can be really difficult and requires direct contact with the customer. The goal is often a ‘numbers game’ based on pushing the sales message to likely targets with the hope that the sales message will hit home and you’ll make a sale. Selling skills are learnable and generally involve building rapport, questioning the client and closing the sale.
Marketing: This is a much more complicated and scientific process. It should always start with a thorough understanding of the target / dream client – their needs, challenges, opportunities, etc. Once you understand your customer then you can allow this to define your branding and core message (your point of difference or unique selling point) to ensure that this resonates with the target client. Finally, you need to then ensure you understand where and when your target client goes to find a solution to their problem … there’s no point you being all over Twitter if your client isn’t a Twitter user! The end goal is to ensure that your target clients ‘discover’ the perfect message from you at ‘just the right time’ and that it ‘pulls’ them to you as a result.
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One core element of marketing is the measurement of success – take a look at our article on marketing metrics. There’s no point spending time using social media to market your business if it doesn’t produce sales in the end – you need to ensure that your efforts are being rewarded by sales or you’re simply being a busy fool!
The Marketing Mix
When you approach your business strategy, you are likely to want to include your Marketing Mix in with it – this document looks at various aspects of your marketing and sales strategy and focuses, in part, on the channels of communication you use. They can include:
Traditional options include:
- Newspapers, billboards, trade press, local magazines, etc.
- Printed marketing materials
- Networking and word of mouth referrals
- Formal networking groups
- Events and exhibitions
- Family and friends
- PR promotion
- Telephone sales and marketing
Digital / Online techniques include:
Remember that most business models require ‘marketing’ to make noise and identify prospects … then they need an aspect of ‘selling’ to close the deals. Done well, the whole process creates a sales funnel for your business with a steady stream of new business sales being the result.
Ensure the channels through which you communicate are the ones your customers use, not the ones you prefer yourself. Always seek expert advice to make sure your efforts look professional and trustworthy. Marketing a business well is really hard work and the best approach is to ensure you have a strategic plan that truly pulls customers to you.
Strategic Marketing thoughts from Yorkshire Powerhouse
Search Engine Marketing is a way of serving adverts to potential customers online. These adverts can meet or create customer demand for a product or service. Read >