Most people do not often understand the differences between sales, branding and marketing. The common misconception would be that sales and marketing are the same thing, or that branding equates to marketing. These three are not the same, and hence it is important to know the differences in order to efficiently utilize them for sustaining the business.
An activity done by a business to sell their goods or services. It involves directly interacting with prospects to persuade them to purchase. An example will be how an insurance agent will sit down with his potential client personally and convince them to buy an insurance.
It is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with. They identify with the logo, value, message or design of the company who owns the idea or image. Apple’s brand idea is making technology simple for everyone to use and to make lives easier, hence consumers who like simplicity will identify with the Apple brand.
Process of promoting and distributing a product or service. It lets consumers know that the business exists, and communicates the business brand to them. It involves activities such as networking, putting up advertisements to promote, and setting up and online store to sell the product.
Marketing and Sales are part of a process where the former leads to the latter. In a business, the marketing team lets potential customers know what the company is selling through advertising, PR, social media and so on.
This generates potential customers or leads. These leads are then driven to the sales team where they will try to close the sale, which refers to getting the leads to sign a contract or purchase the product.
Hence, the difference between marketing and sales would be that one creates awareness of the business while the other actually sells the product.
Marketing contributes to branding. Keeping in mind the company’s branding, the marketing team will make use of the appropriate tone, design, message and marketing tools to reach out to consumers. If the business brand is fun and youthful, the marketing team will use social media for example, and posts funny content with playful captions. This would help to communicate to the users the brand image of fun and youth.
Hence, the difference between marketing and branding would be that branding is what the company is all about, and marketing is the tool used to let people know that.
All three activities are essential in sustaining the business. Without marketing, there would not be many potential customers aware of the product or service. Without sales, no revenue will be generated. Without branding, customers would not be loyal and will be lost when a better competitor arises. Being aware of the differences can allow a business to identify and work on its weaker areas, and thus improve itself.