Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sales and Marketing?

Is it just me who views as highly suspect any company with job titles along the lines of Sales AND Marketing Director?

I've always imagined a promoted sales executive holding such a role and while I bow to no-one in my admiration of great sales people, it seems to me that sales is a highly-skilled subset of marketing. The conflation is to me an indicator of a misunderstanding of and diminuation of the marketing function within that organisation.

Everyone in an organisation should be a marketer - implicitly and explicitly generating sales opportunities, but is it too rigid of me to suggests that not everyone could or should be fulfilling the sales role of cultivating and maintaining relationships? Marketing creates the means of meeting a customer need (starting right back at product development). Sales people do something very different. Or am I wrong?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Eric said...

No - you're not wrong.

In my experience, the difference in personality/skillset between an outstanding Dir. of Sales and an outstanding Dir. of Marketing is striking.

I suspect that the "Dir. of Sales and Marketing" isn't terribly good at either...

2:17 PM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...

I agree, but hesitated to go down the skillset line of argument because I worry about the prescriptive box-ticking that such phrases imply to me. More importantly I was trying to emphasise the status and understanding of marketing within the company that such a title suggests.

4:55 AM, April 21, 2006  
Anonymous Patrick Dodd said...

Spot on. Too many people wrongly equate marketing with promotion and sales when in fact these are actually subsets of Marketing. "Marketing creates the means of meeting a customer need (starting right back at product development)," is one of the best definitions of Marketing that I have come accross.

3:36 AM, April 25, 2006  
Anonymous Stephen Hamilton said...

I agree that Sales is a subset of Marketing, albeit a very important one in most businesses.

As a professional salesperson I recognise that what I do is a function of a broader process that is generally called Marketing.

As a business owner, I would never give any person whose only responsibility or perspective is Sales - it doesn't work in isolation to everything else a business does. Someone with a clear and holistic understanding of the business needs to be monitoring, encouraging and directing salespeople at all times.

3:51 PM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous Pamela Slim said...

I have to agree with you, even though you pointed out that I put "sales AND marketing" together in some of my blog posts as if they were as compatible as "peanut butter and jelly," "kit and kaboodle," or "salt and pepper." In reality, it is more like "George Bush and Saddam Hussein"

In my experience inside corporations, salespeople have a general loathing of their marketing counterparts, criticizing the canned presentations they create, while the marketing folks cringe in horror as they see the sales folks butcher their carefully crafted brand and marketing messages with presentations that look as if they were put together with a hacksaw.

It would be nice if one person understood the unique benefits of each function and executed them both well.

In my world, entrepreneurs are freaked out by both areas, and tend to lump them together.

I promise to stop the madness and will never refer to them in the same sentence again in my blog. Ever. Unless I feel like it. I look forward to your reprimand if I do.

1:11 PM, July 21, 2006  
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2:43 AM, March 28, 2009  

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