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What you need to know about sales and marketing

What\\\'s the difference between the two
By Entrepreneur Staff |

As small business owners you need to know the difference between marketing and selling for you to be able to reach consumers. Here are a few pointers. 

Many business owners and practitioners mistakenly think of selling and marketing as interchangeable concepts. This is particularly true in the case of small businesses, which often equates marketing with selling due to organizational and resource limitations. But even if sales and marketing are intrinsically linked, the fact is that they are two very different business activities.

Selling begins when a product or service becomes available for consumption or use. This function covers placement of products in appropriate distribution/selling channels, building the retailers’ awareness and confidence on the product and cultivating customer advocacy for the maker of the product or service.

Marketing, on the other hand, is much broader in scope and starts long before the selling process takes place. It covers everything about the market, the consumer, and the brand.

Marketing is about creating consumer-relevant brand values that satisfy specific market needs. It is about  building product and brand awareness, influencing consumers’ preferences and purchase considerations, and making the consumers repeatedly avail / purchase the marketer’s offering.

Marketing and sales are complementary functions, any one of which can’t achieve its goals without the other. And they need two key elements to make them successfully do this: (1) an extensive understanding of their customers, and (2) the ability to adapt to the changing needs, attitudes, and behaviors of the  market.

This article was originally published in the August 2007 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines.


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