Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Advertising, Marketing, and Sales

Whenever a topic is sufficiently complex and there is debate about where the boundaries lie, I prefer to substitute my own "simple" explanation.  The difference, use, and goals of Advertising, Marketing, and Sales is one such topic.

Few people know enough about all three disciplines to try to segregate them (unless your next stop is wikipedia :)  Some believe that one encompasses another or both within the larger umbrella.  But one thing is for sure, they are like atoms (hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon) that when combined create molecules (water, carbon dioxide, peroxide, etc.) that bring money into your business.

I propose the simple definitions:

  • Advertising - Increases Awareness
  • Marketing - Increases Engagement
  • Sales - Increases Revenue

Obviously, the borders of these three things are not black and white.  You can advertise your Guarantee in your marketing and sales material, and you have to sell you marketing to get people to bite.  But the goal is to over simplify.

If you look at my definitions again, you will see that they closely follow the traditional sales cycle: Awareness = Discovery, Engagement = Evaluation, Sales = Purchase.

I over simplify these so that it is easy to see where your company is lacking.  If you have a great product, like the Chia Pet, that you are sure people would buy if they just knew you existed - you are low on advertising.  If you have to resort to cold calls to make sales, you are probably low on Marketing.  And if your site is blowing up but your conversion rate is sub par, you're missing the final piece of the puzzle, sales.

What's your company missing?