Before I started at CONSENSUS™ I worked in many different capacities. I did journalism, retail, outreach, being a law assistant, and marketing. I loved all of my jobs. Most people understood what my jobs were about when I told them I was in journalism or retail. However, whenever I included marketing in my job description, people would get confused. Some people would assume I meant public relations, but a vast majority thought marketing was a fancy title for sales. I used to get so bent out of shape about this because I felt that people should know the difference. However, as I started thinking more about my topic for today, I realized that I owe those people an apology. What is the difference between marketing and sales? More importantly, where does it fall into a product demo? I had no idea where to start. It’s a big question that really depends on who you ask so maybe it’s best to define marketing and sales and go from there.
As mentioned above, marketing is very hard to nail down to one definition. There are a lot of definitions floating around the web. However, the one I like best is listed in the Business Dictionary. It says the definition of marketing is “the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer.” It goes on to mention the 4 p's of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion, and how those tie in to the definition of marketing.
The generally accepted school of thought is that in order for something to be considered marketing, one must be doing research on the product, setting the price, finding the distribution channel or place to reach the customer, and finding a strategy to promote the product. Some have tried to restructure these four ps to better fit with today’s B2B marketing. The Harvard Business Journal recently presented an article titled “Rethinking the 4 p’s”. They said “It’s not that the 4 P’s are irrelevant, just that they need to be reinterpreted to serve B2B marketers. …our model shifts the emphasis from products to solutions, place to access, price to value, and promotion to education.”
So whether you prefer the 4 ps or Harvard Business Review’s “S.A.V.E.” something that is evident is that marketing is ever changing. A recent blog from Forbes mentions that the true difference between marketing and sales is that marketing changes frequently. It’s always evolving to keep up with the latest trends to attract customers to a product. Looking at the 4 p’s and the S.A.V.E. idea, I think marketing has to do more with delivering a message and convincing people that the product is a need not a want. So, marketing is really about managing and delivering a message properly to a target audience.
Sāl , plural noun
The Business Dictionary defines sales as “The activity or business of selling products or services.” When others think of sales they often mention telemarketing calls or Mr. Wormwood from the movie and book “Matilda” trying to sell you a used car. Because of popularization of movie characters like Mr. Wormwood, a distrust of people in sales has become a stereotype. This stereotype was what really bent me out of shape when people thought I was in sales. I didn’t want people to not trust the message I was trying to deliver as a marketer. I also did not like the stereotype because I think sales people are simply misunderstood. Sales are what make the company money and they are a huge pillar of the organization. Without money, the company goes away. Without sales, there is no money being made.
It may sound like an incredibly simple definition, but I think sales is more about making a relationship with potential customers and closing the deal itself. Diffen.com says “Sales is the strategy of meeting needs in an opportunistic, individual method, driven by human interaction. There's no premise of brand identity, longevity or continuity. It's simply the ability to meet a need at the right time.”
Where does the demo fall?
Here’s the tricky part, where does a product demo video fall into the mix of marketing and sales? The truth is that I believe a demo is one of the best combinations of marketing and sales. I write scripts for demo videos on a daily basis, and yes, the scripts seem to follow the four p model well which indicates to me that the majority of the video is marketing driven. However, the end of a demo video truly lends itself to sales.
Let’s start with the marketing part of the demo video. When writing the script for a demo, I typically start with a problem solution statement. This is the best way to start out when doing a demo video because your prospect cares more about the problem you can solve for them than a long drawn out demo with a ton of features they might not need. The problem solution approach helps you to solidify the product by introducing it in a way that the prospect wants. It also sends a clear message to the target audience that those of us doing the demo care about their needs and what is the best time for them within their “buyer’s journey.” Then, we introduce the benefits and features that are shown after an introduction of a demo video. The benefits and features educate the consumer about the product further. This makes a demo video heavily a marketing tool.
Now let’s look at the sales part of a product demo video. At the end of every product demo video, there is a call to action. In my previous blog, I defined and talked about the importance of the call-to-action (CTA). The CTA is the part of the product demo video that is completely sales. The CTA directs the viewer to call the sales team now and order the product. It gets the viewer excited about sealing the deal and makes it easy.
So, with a demo video, it is almost like saying marketing has done their job to educate you about our product in the video—now call me to close the deal. It’s like packaging your head of marketing and head of sales into one person and giving them to the customer. A product demo video is great for both groups because coupling marketing and sales is a very powerful thing.
The bottom line is that sales and marketing need each other. Without one, it is hard for the other to exist and the demo is the happy medium—driving both marketing and sales.