Branding, Marketing

Marketing and Sales – They Are the Same Thing, Right?

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Photo credit: Michael Marcol from

Are you one of those people who think Marketing and Sales are the same thing? Think that’s a crazy question? A lot of people confuse the two. They aren’t the same. They use different skills and perform different functions. I’ve had people try to talk me into taking work that was clearly Sales. Let’s break down what some of the differences are.

Okay, this is pretty easy, right? Sales people SELL things…they try to convince prospects, current customers, influencers, resellers, and partners that what they have to sell will fit their needs and get those people to buy it. To do that, Sales people need tools and support. That’s where Marketing comes in.


In a nutshell, Marketing supports Sales. Marketing does things like:

  • Defines and maintains the brand. Each company and product has a brand. It’s the answer to “Who are you/your company/your product?” or “Who do you want people to think you are?” It’s the logo, the packaging, the colors, the design, the functionality…all of that…but it’s also how you want the buyer to feel if they purchase your product and who that buyer is. 
  • Creates messaging. How would this product benefit that target audience? What is the value proposition of this product for the target audience?
  • Creates collateral. These are documents that Sales can send to their prospects (or send the URL for) to help them better understand the features, functionality, benefits, and value of the product. Collateral can include things like datasheets, white papers, articles, customer success stories (also called case studies), brochures, solution briefs, presentations, and more.
  • Creates and executes marketing programs. These programs can include the launch of a new product, a program to increase sales for a particular product, a program to get new leads of prospects for a product, and more.
  • Manages the web presence. The web is your company’s face to the world (and your customers) and it is vital to have the right content, targeted messaging, and consistent branding on every web page.
  • Plans and executes events. Events are designed to increase leads, company and product awareness, industry thought leadership, and more. They can include webinars, conferences, trade shows, open houses, analyst and press tours, and more.

There are many more things that Marketing does, but the bottom line is that Marketing exists to support Sales and to define, maintain, and promote the vision the company has for itself and for its products. But of course you already knew all of this, right?

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