Before we start discussing the Wonderful World of Marketing I would like to share an idea with you. Well, this is more of a principle than an idea. It’s the principle of the structure of Marketing primarily the broad definition of Marketing and how it applies to small businesses as well as Fortune 500 enterprises.
The idea for this issue was bouncing around in my mind for more than 10 years after a conversation I had with a software company where I was serving as the VP of Business Development. The conversation was around business planning and Marketing.
We were developing the business plan and the subject of the day was Sales and Marketing, especially the hires and structure of the departments. The CEO that I was talking with was an ex Big Business (Fortune 500) executive with an old fashion look on business planning and Marketing. We got a bit stuck on what was marketing and how we would structure the departments.
The problem was simple. The CEO wanted to have a Marketing Department and a Sales department. He wanted them to be different cost centers, different departments running independently from one another. I wanted to have one department working together under one cost center. I thought the concept was simple and the decision very easy. I was wrong, very wrong.
What I considered a very easy decision stretched into an argument. I really did not understand what the problem was. After all, isn’t Sales a part of Marketing? Isn’t Marketing a Universal Term that explains how to “Market” products and services? How to place products and services out in the world? Isn’t Sales just one part of that whole process? Well, as it turns out not many people know this and not many people see it this way.
For some reason, businesses, tradition, bosses, schools, have separated the sales from the marketing although in definition sales is just one part of marketing and if the whole marketing strategy is done correctly the sales is the easy part.
I can see the dilemma, after all, how do you teach sales at school to university students? I remember when I was in school Sales was a bad word. Nobody said “I’m majoring in Sales” or “I want to be a salesperson when I graduate”. This is without realizing that everything in the real word is about sales, from your resume to your interviews, raises, promotions, owning your business, asking for investment or loans, everything.
Is there a practical business solution? Yes, education. Understanding marketing and what it is and how to use it is the name of the game. And creating a solid marketing plan and department capable of unifying sales and marketing is the goal. This will make sales a part of marketing and salespeople will love you for it. After all you will make their life easy by applying killer marketing techniques to help them close more sales and be more profitable. To do this you have to become a marketing expert, everything you do is marketing, the way you deal with employees, customers, investors, the bank, suppliers, everything.
What is your homework? Study marketing and everything that has to do with the subject including sales, public relations, product development, distribution, merchandising, packaging, everything. You will be surprised by the knowledge you gather and the profits you make.