Branding vs Marketing. PR vs Marketing. Sales vs Marketing.

Debating definitions and dividing the differences between marketing functions is a never ending source of controversy.

Martin Jelsema, guest writer on Duct Tape Marketing sees branding vs marketing as:

…branding (the strategic process) and marketing (the implementation of the strategy)…

I think that marketing can be the strategic process just as well as branding. From my view, I see branding more as owning the marketing niche/positioning/message.

Maurilio Amorim of Making a Difference says:

Branding and marketing both aim at communicating a product, an institution, even a person to a particular audience. This whole process happens solely in the mind. In this case, perception is realityfor good or bad. Most of what marketing does is build a brand create a favorable reality in the minds of our target audience. A marketing campaign’s effectiveness is measured in months, but a brand’s strength is calculated in years, even decades. Each marketing effort should help define, position, and strengthen the brand.

In my opinion, you can have marketing without branding. But you can’t have branding without marketing.

Bill Sledzic of Toughsledding insists that PR is not a subset of Marketing and has written about it numerous times. Bill recently wrote:

While I’m not advocating that marketing report to PR, it’s clear that public relations has a broader reach, not to mention a very different tool kit than the marketers. Still, no matter how hard we fight the perception, people tend to view us as “promoters,” or part of the marketing function. In fact, our job is to sustain the relationships that make our organizations successful, and that goes well beyond the distribution, promotion and sale of products.

From my perspective, I’m clear that PR is a subset of marketing (see my post PR and Marketing: Chicken or the Egg, but as far as going beyond distribution, promotion and sale of products, more often I see those more as as function of HR (human resources) than PR (public relations). Just my opinion.

Ivana Taylor of Strategy Stew asks: what’s the difference between sales and marketing of her LinkedIn connections and her blogging community.

Rather than pontificate on what I think the difference is, I want to get your answer to these two questions:

1. If Sales and Marketing are different, why do we treat them the same?
2. In your opinion what’s the difference between sales and marketing?

Give me your answers and I’ll use them in the article.

In my opinion, I don’t think we do treat them the same… but I know that often clients want sales without having to do the marketing investment. If you do not want to get involved in the marketing side of your business or are just not sure where to start, why not look into companies like Igor Kholkin who can help kick start your business’ online presence and build traffic, as well as other services provided.

A good digital agency, for example, someone like Design Agency Leicester could be helpful with getting your business out there and improve sales for your business through advertising and marketing. I’ve heard marketing compared to courting and sales compared to marriage. It that’s the case, it’s like expecting a “yes” when you propose on a blind date to expect someone to buy from you from an email offer. Depending on the product and service, you’ll need to build a relationship first. There are a few different industries that know this more than anyone, for example, a casino isn’t really building relationships with people, it’s more of the blind date situation. If a business feels they fall into this category, it might be worthwhile to see what can businesses learn when overviewing casino marketing over a business venture such as a dental practice that builds clientele and relationships, for instance.

I mean, the very fact we have marketing companies doing great things shows that everything can be intertwined into one. A great marketing company will do all four together – and they will help to bring all four together into one integral service that grows your business.

What are your thoughts?

Author: Chris Brown

Business owner operating a marketing consulting firm. Online Publisher. Keynote Speaker.

6 thoughts on “Branding vs Marketing. PR vs Marketing. Sales vs Marketing.”

  1. Chris – this is excellent! I love that you’ve brought in all these other elements of Branding and PR and their relationship to marketing.

    So far, the responses to my question have primarily focused on the fact that what every business wants is dollars. Of course we want these dollars as quickly and easily as possible – and so often, that means that the focus falls on “sales.” Yet, what’s clear (and I love your proposing on a blind date) is that customers require some information and some foreplay before they commit. And that is where all these other elements play such a critical role.

    This is such an important conversation to have on an on-going basis. Thanks for continuing it.

  2. I think they are often combined under one person in a small company; but they are very different activities. Marketing is everything that tells your target prospect about the distinct improvement your product or service could provide. Sales is talking with a target prospect about the benefits of your product or service that fit her or his needs.

  3. Chris,

    It looks like I’m a little late in finding your post, but I couldn’t agree more with your take on the marketing/PR issue here.

    After 14 years in the industry – primarily for magazine publishers, I know that every good marketing plan MUST consider and incorporate: sales, customer service, direct marketing, collateral, design, public relations, e-marketing, social networking and events.

    If you’re only concerning yourself with PR, then you aren’t considering the affect that sales efforts or direct marketing campaigns may be having on the company’s overall strategy. If we all agree that this is true, then how can PR or direct mail or social networking ever be anything more than a subset of marketing?

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