sales vs marketing

Why Marketing is Not Sales

  • On : August 18, 2021

Often used interchangeably Sales and Marketing are two aspects of business that are intrinsically linked, yet at the same time, both very different. Failure to understand the difference will be to your business’s detriment.

While both are customer-focused with the aim of increasing revenue, you must nail both in order to succeed. Knowing the succinct differences between the two will help you develop a greater focus in each area and a more comprehensive strategy within each specialty.

Here’s what you need to know:


Marketing is defined as “activities which help to build your brand and business”. This is a broad definition but marketing in its essence is very broad. Marketing operates on a one-to-many basis. This means that marketing aims to reach and engage with as many people as possible through an integrated approach across multiple sources.

A strong brand image is crucial when positioning yourself in the minds and in turn, the wallets, of customers. As such, marketing involves the effective communication of a company’s unique value in relation to its target audience’s pain points.

Awareness of the brand is imperative for successful marketing. Marketing can have a goal of increasing sales; however, its primary goal will revolve around promoting your company, product, service or brand. Quite often, marketing materials are the first source of interaction customers will have with your brand. It is what sparks the customer’s interest in your product. Businesses have also become increasingly close to their customers through the rise of digital media (social media, TV, podcasts, webinars).

In short, marketing is the function that enables sales to happen.


Part of the ‘marketing process’, Sales can be defined as all the activities that lead to a transaction for the goods of service. Contrasting to the marketing approach of ‘one-to-many’, sales operate on a ‘one-to-one’ basis. Sales can target individuals or smaller subsets of the target audience. Salespeople are focused on developing and managing relationships with potential customers, identifying their individual needs and tailoring solutions to their situations. One of the advantages of sales activities is that it can directly personalise the product to the customer and handle any objectives they may have for going ahead with the sale.

Within the sales process, the business representative will often go further than merely discussing the transaction of the product but also go through delivery options, warranties, support, training and other important factors. These factors must be communicated to the customer to ensure they understand any risks associated with purchasing and what protections the company may offer them.


Both sales and marketing require a thorough strategy development and implementation process to achieve its overarching goals and objectives.

A Marketing Plan involves analyzing the market as a whole (target audience, competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, potential alliances) and developing a plan of tactics to achieve business goals. This may include conducting social media marketing campaigns, email marketing, search engine optimization. Other marketing frameworks which help develop marketing strategies are the brand positioning maps and SWOT analysis etc.

The process of sales will have a greater variation across businesses as it comes down to who your customer is and what you are selling. One process which may work for one business, may not work for another. Undoubtedly, B2B companies will operate their sales differently from that of B2C.

An example of a B2C model which companies may use is the FORD model when interacting with customers. This model seeks to gain greater insight into the customer through probing and prospecting them about their family, occupation, recreation activities in depth. Other sales frameworks include SPIN selling, NEAT selling, Conceptual Selling and SNAP Selling. Before you decide which model to use, consider your business and the types of leads you are generating (through the marketing function).


Marketing and Sales will both analyze different information to help generate the best possible result.

Data analytics is an emerging marketing tool used by businesses to gain greater insights into overall consumer trends and decisions. Marketing often looks at data collected from existing customers and available market research to inform marketing strategies.

The exponential success of digital marketing lies in the ability of businesses to leverage this data and turn it into an actionable marketing strategy. Compared to traditional methods of surveying, this allows marketers to gain specific insights more efficiently and more accurately than ever before. Data analytics can be used to make more efficient decisions and easily segment your customers.

Sales will generally analyze the behavior of prospects and customers. Using the aforementioned sales frameworks, salespeople may notice patterns in certain customer motivations on an individual level. This can help inform the sales process and offer greater value to customers.

Importance of Marketing and Sales 

While both aspects are vital to your business, if your marketing is not effective, it will only make your sales process more difficult. If your marketing does not effectively communicate value to the customer, it will require stronger effort from on the sales behalf to reinforce the value of the product. Moreover, effective marketing will drive a greater number of leads to your sales team. A higher volume of leads will lead to a higher volume of sales generations.

However, this relationship is not entirely one-sided. Ultimately, successful marketing still relies on strong sales strategies to secure the transaction, so a sufficient return on investment is made for their campaigns and investments. Similarly, sales can provide feedback to marketing about which marketing is effective for customers through direct feedback.

Get assistance with your marketing strategy today 

One thing is certain, although linked, marketing is not the same as sales. It has a completely different set of processes, tools and knowledge required for organizational success.

If you are unsure where to begin the development of your own succinct marketing strategy, the team at Robotic Marketer can help you! We use state-of-the-art marketing strategy technology to create a tailored, actionable marketing strategy for your business.

Our expert team of marketing consultants are there to accompany you every step of the way and are wholly dedicated to your success. Contact the team to find out more information on how our technology can help cut hours from your own load!