The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Friday Guest Blog: Sales versus Marketing

By Andrew Chemney, Managing Director of Ignition CBS Ltd

Here’s the truth. Ultimately every business that sees itself as primarily ‘sales driven’ will fail. 

Why you ask? Because sales based businesses inevitably focus on the needs of the seller and on how they can get buyers to exchange their hard earned cash for their products or services.

That’s a self-centered approach and a race to the bottom. Sales focused businesses end up preoccupied with being the cheapest – and there is always someone out there who will beat them.

The real winners (always have been, always will be) are those businesses that see themselves as ‘marketing driven’.

That’s because marketing driven businesses focus on the needs of buyers, and on how to deliver what those buyers want and need right now. 

They concentrate on designing, innovating or delivering products and services for their customers, NOT on finding customers to fit their products and services.

Every business or venture should begin with thorough research and a well-thought out marketing strategy. 

Understand your market, know who your customers and competitors are, and monitor the demand for what you offer.

Asking yourself these six marketing questions will help your business stay on track:

1. What motivates customers to use your product or service?
How can these motivators be harnessed to increase sales?

2. What are the most effective things that your competitors are doing that you should be doing or countering? 

3. Why have customers recently switched to your product? 
Why did they reject the competition? Why did they almost reject your product in favour of which competitor? What are the problematic parts of your marketing that almost caused them not to buy?

4. What are the things that you can do to put your seemingly similar product into a class by itself? 
How can you disqualify the competition, reset the rules, redefine the standards, reorder priorities, change the decision criteria and transform the game?

5. What turns customers and prospects on? 
What are the hot buttons, the claims, language, concepts, promises, images, pictures, challenges, that really get their juices flowing? What excites them about the most mundane products, what arouses their emotions?

6. What are the missed opportunities that your marketing materials don’t address, but that your customers want to hear about?
Do your adverts, brochures and sales presentations give the correct impression of your business? Is it clear what differentiates your product or service from the competition? 

I’ll be expanding on some of these issues in my next free marketing seminar on Thursday 31st October. Please feel free to contact us on 01706 222456 or visit for more information or to book your place. 

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