Ryan is an avid Diet Coke drinker. He believes that the zero calorie drink is the best Cola out there and wouldn’t dare switch over to something as common as Pepsi Max. For Ryan, Diet Coke is a religion. He knows the taste like the back of his hand, drinks more than 3 cans a day and thinks that Diet Coke pairs perfectly with any meal. For the people over at Pepsi, Ryan is their biggest challenge.
So, as any good multi billion dollar company does, Pepsi gathers up their teams and announces that it’s a time for a change. It is time to find a way to gain Ryan as a customer. The sales team comes back with a pitch: lower the price to increase value!
The sales team believes that Ryan will be motivated by money. That when he is walking through the supermarket, if the Pepsi Max is on sale – so much so that it is significantly cheaper than the Diet Coke – then he will prefer to buy the Pepsi Max and save those extra few dollars. This is by all means, a fairly good plan.
However, the marketing team has a different idea. They’d rather think a little bit more long term. They believe that through planned out and targeted marketing, they can convince Ryan that Pepsi Max is better for him without ever having to drop the price. By taking the time to understand Ryan, they can plan their product placement and marketing approach to completely alter Ryan’s views on Pepsi Max – turning Ryan into a long term and loyal customer.
The Difference Between Marketing and Sales
In the example above, we have presented the differences between marketing and sales. Sales focuses on making the sale (as is in its name) and marketing focuses on gaining the customer. Sales is short term whereas marketing is long term. Sales is incentivized whereas marketing is individualized.
Both of these routes have significant advantages and often work well together. Especially given that sales is short term and marketing is long term; allowing them to each serve different purposes. However, before beginning to market yourself in any way, it is important to know the differences between the methods.
Sales has the strong advantage at being instantaneous, but the clear disadvantage of being focused on a one time sale and not long term loyalty. Whereas marketing has the disadvantage of being lengthy and time consuming, but the undeniable advantage of attracting and creating loyal customers.
Do you know what works for you? Is making the sale really always your goal?