Marketing vs. Selling

Marketing vs. Selling

We are part of a strategy session with one partner organization or another almost daily.  Without fail, the conversation turns to a discussion of the difference between marketing, selling, branding, and advertising.  In fact just the other day, I thought one organization's team was going to come to blows over it.  So, in the interest of peace on earth, I thought I would share our perspective:

  • Marketing - A series of actions and communication that begins the conversation with a potential customer, constituent, donor, or advocate.  Some marketing tools are email, social posts, blogs, ads, direct mail, or brochures.  All of these are designed to create interest and prequalify a potential sell or engagement with a constituent or consumer.   Marketing is the conversation used to gain a "yes."
  • Selling - The act of asking for the sell, support, donation, or action. Selling uses a call to action based upon the conversation created through marketing.  Selling is carried out face-to-face, online, over the phone, via a webinar, or any way that directly asks for the business or constituent action.
  • Branding - Tools that create top of mind awareness of your organization for the audience you seek.  Branding may be national print advertising, radio, and the like.  However, it can also include jingles, logos or phrases, and related imagery that is designed to prompt a consumer to come to you.  Not every company needs to have ads in a top tier magazine or at the Super Bowl. Not everyone needs to spend millions of dollars to get you to remember, "Just Do It!"  See what just happened in your head when you read that phrase?  Your brain immediately saw the swoosh and thought, Nike.   That is the result of outstanding branding.
  • Advertising - Placed communication where your desired audience will see it, hear it, or experience it and develop interest in what you are communicating.  Advertising can be brand-oriented, action-based, or designed to create image or persona. Exceptional advertising can be all of those and even impact culture.

 Not all marketing is selling.  Not all advertising is branding.  However, the common demoninators required in all are authenticity, consistency, and value.  Without those, all marketing, selling, branding, and advertising is short lived noise. We would love to hear about what you are doing to develop your audience conversation. Drop us a note HERE or join us for an upcoming WEBINAR soon.

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