I often hear the terms sales and marketing used almost interchangeably. While personal sales is a very integral part of marketing in a B2B setting, marketing is not selling, it is much, much more.
When you think about marketing, it is essentially everything you do! From how well your building and lot is kept, how clean your service/delivery vehicles are kept, how your receptionist answers the phone to how easy it is to do business with you. It’s impossible to compact a marketing degree and 25 years into a blog post, but I encourage you to do this; for the next day, when you are working in your office, having a meeting, talking to a customer or employee ask yourself “I wonder how this impacts the image, position and sales of my company?” It is exemplified by some recent experiences of my own.
I ride my bike, a lot; road bike and mountain bike. Last year I tried a different bike shop to service my bikes on recommendations from others. When I first took a bike there a fellow helped me out. He wasn’t pleasant. He wasn’t rude, but he just seemed to be going through the motions…finishing a set of paperwork without a word to me, until he finished and asked what he could do for me. I overlooked it and the repair/service came out fine my bike worked great. Then last fall the same thing happened, only this time it almost seemed like he was being punished for being there and was again, not rude, but very curt with me…very “as matter of fact.” Once again, I overlooked it and they serviced my bike. This Spring it happened again, same guy, same tired old service and you know what? I’ve decided there are other bike shops with good service that will actually enjoy having my business, greet me warmly and treat me like they appreciate my business. THAT is a LACK of understanding marketing. And it happens all the time in business. Rude receptionist, dirty salesman’s cars, un-ironed shirts, service techs that lack personal skills or don’t clean up properly after a service, bills that are incorrect and can’t get corrected. It’s ALL part of marketing your business.
So while the marketing world tries to distract us with social media, personalized landing pages, Twitter and the like, keep in mind; marketing is much much more that how to sell the product that’s on the shelves right now. It’s EVERYTHING you do!