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Marketing mistake 1: Difference between sales and marketing

Welcome back to another blog of your digital marketing journey. In this season, we are talking about the common marketing mistakes that entrepreneurs make. All of these mistakes have actually come about from my own experience of running my startup. And now that I work as a marketing consultant, I have seen other entrepreneurs make the same mistakes. So I wanted to dedicate an entire season to discussing these mistakes - why they are important, and how to avoid them.

The first one I'm going to discuss is a fairly typical one, especially for product-based businesses. And they make the mistake of focusing just on sales rather than marketing. Before we go into why this mistake is so crucial and how to fix it, let's have a look at why it happened in the first place. I believe it is important to grasp the difference between sales and marketing since they can be confusing at times, and people often assume they are the same when they are not.

How to distinguish between marketing and selling?

So, to put it simply, marketing is the act of informing others about something. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, but marketing is essentially letting people know who you are. Whereas sales is urging people to buy from you. Let me use a concrete example to demonstrate the difference between marketing and sales.

Assume you're in a mall, and a salesperson approaches you and begins selling you their product. They explain how fantastic the product is, how to utilise it, how it can benefit you, and what kind of discount they can give you. This is a sales-focused approach by the company. But since you've been approached by an unknown salesperson and you may not be familiar with their business, you're not sure if you want to do business with them.

Instead, imagine you're in a store and you've been there a lot, so you know what they sell, how good their quality is, and what kind of refund policies they have. When you're in a store like that, you don't mind picking up anything you might or might not need. The difference between a salesperson and a store is that you are familiar with the store. They've already advertised to you, and you agree with what they've said.

From the perspective of an entrepreneur, if you take the time to market your business to a potential customer, they are more likely to convert and purchase from you. When it comes to marketing, don't get too caught up in the number of sales you make because marketing is an investment. Before you start asking people to buy from you, spend some time marketing your company.

Why do you need marketing strategies to increase sales?

Now that you understand the distinction between marketing and sales, how can you advertise to your ideal customer in order to influence your sales? I'll use the same scenario as before of a mall salesperson and a mall store.

When you bump into a salesperson in the mall, what exactly are you doing there? You're probably simply going about, trying to find a specific store or a fast food place. You're looking around at that moment; you're not looking to buy anything. So, when a salesperson approaches you in the middle of the mall, you don't pay attention to what they're saying since you're not interested in buying anything.

When you're in a store though, you've come with the aim of making a purchase. You're already in that frame of mind. You have a specific item in mind to purchase. So, if you arrive to the checkout counter and the girl behind the counter tells you that if you buy this product, you'll also get a 50% discount on another product, aren't you more likely to buy the second product?

Similarly, you must understand where your customers go to receive information and where they go to buy in digital spaces. The majority of individuals use Google to look up information on products or new businesses. They might also notice an advertisement on Facebook and remember it afterwards. As a result, these two channels are excellent marketing tools. This is where you can tell people about yourself even if they aren't looking to buy. But if they see you often enough, they will remember you the next time they want to buy something similar to yours. On the other hand, if they're on Amazon and see an ad for your goods, they might think about it because they're there to buy something. They might take a look, and they might be much more likely to buy your stuff here than on Facebook. Once you start marketing, take the time to figure out where your customer is hanging out, where you can market to them and eventually where you can take them so that you make a sale.

I hope this tip helps you to plan out what you're going to do on your marketing and where you're going to invest your time and money to grow your business. Do come back for the next blog where I'm going to talk about not having a budget. That’s another common mistake that entrepreneurs make!


If you liked this post and would like more tips on other tools, then read more articles like this here or you can listen to the podcast.

Want to brainstorm a marketing strategy to grow your business? Book a free consultation with me here.

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