Concept image of Sales & Marketing on a signpost against a modern glass office building.

Sales and Marketing Consumer Goods

Sales and marketing in consumer goods companies are closely intertwined. As such it sometimes becomes hard to realise the difference between the two. In fact there are still many organisations which remain in the dark of the distinction between the two.
So how is sales and marketing different? In very simple words, marketing has the charter to create demand, sales to fulfil demand. Sales talk to customers while marketing communicates with consumers. Sales can be termed as a process which focuses or targets on individuals or small groups like distributors, retail outlets and stores. In consumer goods companies these groups are termed as customers. Marketing on the other hand targets the general targeted public known as consumers.
Marketing includes analysis, planning and research (identifying needs of the consumer); matching products and brands to a certain segment (s) of the market; and promoting the brands (rather than the product) through advertisements and create awareness and acceptability of the brands among the consumers. As such marketing means generating leads or prospects and is about creating demand pull. The path of creating an effortless consumer journey however cannot be done with the hard work of sales. It is the task of the sales team to persuade and convince the customer to buy the product to be displayed, resold. So in simple term sales role is about ensuring availability where and when the consumers are.
While marketing is aimed at longer terms, sales pertain to shorter goals. Marketing involves a longer process of building a name for a brand and pursuing the consumer to buy it even if they do not need it. Whereas sales effort involves a shorter term process of finding and converting an ever growing list of customers and maintaining them as trusted channels and partners.
In this sense, marketing can be depicted as a footboard for sales. It prepares the ground for a sales person to approach a customer. Marketing is not direct and it uses various methods like advertising, brand marketing, public relations, direct mails and viral marketing for creating an awareness and acceptability of the brands. Sales, on the other hand, are really about interpersonal interactions, and the establishing of a good personal rapport with the customers. Sales involve one-on-one meetings, networking and calls.
Another major difference that is seen between marketing and sales is that the former involves both micro and macro analysis focussing on strategic intentions While, sales attend to the challenges and relations with the customers.

Posted in English, Rudolf's Articles.