Business Essentials: Marketing and Sales

Business Essentials: Marketing and Sales

February 6, 2017 | By Nancy Ross Brewer | 3 Comments

Business Essentials: Marketing and SalesWelcome back to the Business Essentials Roadmap. In Module 1, we covered three central subjects at the heart of every business: Business Ethics — Strategy — Management and Leadership.

Here in Module 2, we’ll dive into Marketing and Sales. Or is it Sales and Marketing?

What’s in a Name?

The meaning of the term “marketing” continues to evolve. Twenty years ago, many viewed marketing as a “soft” subject area. Those who preferred “hard” disciplines like accounting and finance saw “fluffiness” in every marketing discussion …

That cynical view ignored reality: Marketing is both art and science.

Marketing “art” comes from the intuition and creativity applied by gifted marketers. Those who create and implement winning marketing plans are handsomely rewarded in business.

What’s the “science” side of the marketing equation? The analytical and quantitative techniques used to develop, measure, and evaluate the potential success of different strategies; to identify market trends; and to assess the results of marketing campaigns.

The dawn of digital technology eliminated the fluffy view forever. Universal Internet access propelled marketing methods and opportunities far beyond what anyone imagined two decades ago.

Marketing Was Born of Economics and Sales

Professor Philip Kotler, of The Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), is a trained economist and world-renowned marketing expert, author, and consultant. If you’ve taken a marketing course in the last 40 years, Kotler probably wrote the book.

According to Kotler, the marketing discipline developed “from disillusioned economists, and began in sales departments.”

Economists wanted to see more than “price” considered as an economic driver of buyer behavior.

Salesmen needed to spend their time meeting prospects to make sales. They didn’t want to conduct systematic market research, generate leads, and develop brochures or advertisements. Yet they needed them. So they hired people to do those three important tasks.

Over time, needs grew, and activities became more sophisticated. “Marketing” became a separate department. Now, Sales is often considered a function of Marketing.

Sometimes, a chief executive’s background influences department labels. If he or she came from a sales background, the organization structure and department names may reflect it. The same is true of Marketing.

Bottom line? They must work together!

Reality is that everyone who works in an organization contributes to the success or failure of marketing and sales. (Picture the Seven S Model discussed in Business Strategy in Module 1.) All employees’ actions contribute to company reputation and success.

So, Marketing is…

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Nancy Ross Brewer

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