Advertising, Sales and Marketing, Online Or Offline – Are They the Same Thing?

For years I’ve been advocating that “sales and marketing” are not the same. Recently I came across an article somewhere on the Internet about “advertising and marketing” not being the same. And a new light went on…

I now write about “advertising, sales and marketing” not being the same. Why is this topic important? Because success in business is all about focus. And to focus, we have to understand business terms and divisional activities of business.

I wrote in one of my books that deals with the six significant divisions of an organization, that sales and marketing are not the same. “Sales” is the direct activity of selling — telephone cold callings, face-to-face presentations, talking to people, point-of-sales merchandising… ONline, it is the link that leads to the payment provider. In other words the actual selling!

Marketing is the activity of studying and researching the product/service markets, the competition (what do they do right and wrong), the demographics, the prospective target market of your business and products, etc., and crunching these results into the tools that will lead to the sales and that will effect the sales.

Now, is advertising and marketing the same? No more than sales and marketing. Advertising is one of the tools that leads to the sales. The tools of advertising are the media used such as direct marketing, newspaper and magazine ads, radio and TV, etc. In ONline business it is the Internet, PPC AdWords, e-zine and article writing, e-mail building and distribution, etc.

Are businesses wasting money advertising? Only if they haven’t done the marketing first. Because how are you going to know who you are advertising to, or where, without having done the research? If you don’t know your target market and you just put an ad in the paper or on radio, you are throwing one message to a large audience that is not even looking for your product – usually 90%. The equivalent in Internet terms is “know your niche” and target your message specifically to it.

For example in OFFline business if you do a direct mail, it’s better to do 100 mailouts in a specific postal area that you can, or your sales team, follow-up within a week, rather than to send out 1,000 or 10,000 anywhere that you cannot follow-up. Because the sales are always in the follow-ups!

In ONline business, you target specific niche — people who are looking for x information or z product, etc. then you advertise or promote within that specific target, i.e. keyword-specific for PPC, for instance, and/or keyword-specific web sites and web-pages.

So, not only are the subject words of this article not the same, but they should be used in this order: Marketing, Advertising and Sales, each building up in their own essential ways to the goal of the business which is to sell what it’s in business to provide to customers. Remember no Sales, no Business!