Marketing and sales are one of the most important components of a business’s survival in the market. While both are dependent on each other many people confuse marketing with sales and vice-versa which is a big mistake. Marketing involves designing a product according to the needs of the market and customers, promoting the product through advertising etc. and setting up a competitive price for the product. Marketing is a platform which drives sales. While on the other hand the sales process is what you do to successfully sell a product and fetch a contract. Sales and marketing together is a part of selling and one cannot do without the other. They can also be called activities. The success of a business is critical to the success of these two important activities.
Marketing is the backbone of a company’s future and launching pad for the sales. While the marketing process encompasses the design of the product, advertising etc. the sales process is the execution of all the efforts which involves direct interaction with client either by in-person meeting or cold calls or by networking. But there is always an ongoing rivalry between the two, one claiming dominancy over other. The marketing people say they have an upper hand because they think it is they who designs the products, lays down the strategy and also develops tools essential for sales. They say sales are the outcome of marketing and thus should follow its directions. The sales people might not agree to this view and may be completely opposite in their opinion. They think that it is the sales people who actually sells a product and bring money to the business.
But many experts believe that marketing should play a pivotal role among the two. A successful marketing campaign makes sales easy and makes people believe that it is actually the sales people who are the dominant leaders. The most important role of marketing department is to create opportunities for the sales department. Marketing drives sales and sales drives companies’ success. Marketing is like a life support for sales, one who is constantly backing up the sales department and enabling them to successfully deliver the end product. There shouldn’t be a race to gain supremacy over another department but a race to win the market and customers working together.
Many businesses combine sales and marketing together but in reality they have different targets. While the sales department is interested in fulfilling the requirements of what the customer asked for, the marketing department is actually busy studying what the market demands. The goal of the marketing department is to foresee how the market will shape up in future. They should envision their product catering to the needs of the market for next few years and be ready to make design changes in their product accordingly.
It is very important that a company integrates their sales and marketing department in a well fashioned manner. It is the correct integration of these two important entities that fuels the growth of a company. The sale people should not be merely treated as the cash collectors. Each department has its own role and should go hand in hand in selling the product of the company and should be the foremost important criteria.
So Whats The Difference Between Marketing and Selling on Internet
Marketing on the Internet involves online advertising to reach out to potential customers. It requires creativity like designing, development and technical aspects like marketing and advertising. Affiliate marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing and interactive advertising are all different facets of Internet marketing. It also includes sales, public relations, information management and customer service. Ever since the advent of Internet, it is widely used for all kind of purposes. Among the advantages of Internet, some helps in doing business, shopping, etc, from the comfort of the house. According to a research, a quarter of the Internet users shop online. It has also helped grow electronic commerce and Internet marketing is a part of electronic commerce.
Direct marketing techniques like radio and television commercials, mails, and newsletters are the inspirations for Internet marketing, which involves direct response marketing strategies and is rapidly growing. Business-to-business, also known as B2B, and business-to-consumer, also known as B2C, are the two business models to which Internet marketing can be linked. B2C companies were the first to start when Internet marketing originated. They are companies that sell directly to the customers. B2B companies are meant to do business with each other.
Websites built for Internet marketing are slightly different than others. There are peer-to-peer modeled websites which are used to exchange products and services between each other. Other is name-your-price, where the customers have to specify their price range that they can spend and select products that fall in that price range. Priceline.com is an example of such a website. Amazon.com is a website which is based on find-the-best-price model, where customers can find the lowest prices. Last are online auctions sites, where items are bid. Ebay.com is an example.
The companies who use Internet marketing are at an advantage. They don’t need to put in huge amounts of energy and time in Internet Marketing like other traditional methods. With the help of only few resources national and international markets can be reached. Because of very low investment, even small businesses are turning to online marketing. Websites and blogs have been developed for this purpose. Internet marketing is advantageous in the sense that the data is easily available on the Internet. Newsletters can be directly sent to customers and if it doesn’t contain the information they are looking for, they can search for information about the product online, make a decision and purchase it online itself.
One of the factors that hinder the growth of online marketing is delayed loading of the page. The web pages that take a lot of time to download test the patience of the consumer. To add to that, if the businesses design complex web pages with lots of graphics and animations, it will slow down the speed even more. Another minus point of online marketing is that the customers cannot feel, taste, smell or try products in order to make a good decision. To over come this, some of the online stores have created liberal return policies with the help of which the customer satisfaction is guaranteed.
Another biggest threat of online shopping is identity theft. Paying online using credit cards, e-checks are susceptible to hackers and information can be stolen and used. Many hackers and websites have been caught who were involved in buying and selling of personal information. Most of the websites have taken measures and incorporated good security on their websites. One of the best methods is encryption. When the data is being transferred between two computers; there is a possibility of a hacker intercepting it. So the data is changed by applying some encryption algorithm and is sent through the network and upon receiving, the decryption algorithm is applied to bring back the data to its original form.
Online selling is influencing all kinds of businesses like banking, advertising, music, etc. Instead of going to a store for buying cassettes and CDs, music can be bought online. Bank transactions like depositing, withdrawing, transferring funds, and paying bills are all performed online. Billions of dollars are invested every year in online advertising alone.
If you are ready to start marketing and selling on the internet, check out my article on 5 tips for an online marketing campaign