Digital Marketing and Sales – Lines are Blurring

June 8, 2020

As part DigitalMarketing World, I get this two question very often," I am a sales person,I understand the customer when one-on-one! it seems online is all aboutmarketing and customers are virtual?" and the second one, " how &why do I account for sales? I am a marketing person! I can build brands, createbuzz around the brand by creating wonderful & amazing art of story telling!Now I am being asked about Sales? That’s not fair?" Well well well! Letsunderstand both marketing and sales in digital world to clear this confusion!

Need vs Problem: Traditional Marketing is all aboutInstitution and Process of Communication that creates perceived valuefor customers & clients where customer is King and communication is tocreate need for him with the aim to satisfy his needs by creating products andservices offered.

Digital Marketing is about understanding the customers problem byinteracting with them virtually, providing value by offering them solution thruproducts and services offered. DigitalMedia is all about one-to-one customised communication! Hold On! One-on-oneCustomised communication, isn’t that a sales Job? Yes it is and hence I say thelines are blurring between Marketing and Sales in digital World!

Art Only vs Art+Science: Traditional marketing is alwaysconsidered as art although there are theories which provide effective supportto Marketing effort (4Ps), there is hardly any science behind it! (pls educateme if any)

Digital Marketingis both, Art & Science! There is so much data available in digital spaceabout the customer behavior, his consumption pattern, his buying habits, hisbrand and style preferences, his financial and economic status etc. etc., thatit needs technology to aggregate, analyze and draw inferences from such a hugepile. However it is also extremely important to understand the customerbehavior through marketer’s own experience (the Art) and at the same timedecode all those data points, applying Scientifically Developed Data Analyticaltools (The Science) to gain deeper knowledge. Hey once again, isn’t that sales as traditionally, we, in sales use todo? Look at various data points available about the customer, analyze them,draw conclusion, make a strategy and then move to close the sale by engaging one-on-onewith them! Well yes and again it seems that in Digital World Lines areblurring!

One-to-many vs One-on-one: Traditional Marketing usestraditional media to create one-to-many communication that would address oneand all without really knowing how much has it touched or inspired them orinfluenced the consumer.

Digital Marketingis all bout Targeting and measuring the effort by being part of their buyingjourney and influencing their decision by providing optimized solutions. Again,due to large amount of data being made available by the Digital Medium,consumer behavior and their decision-making can be tracked and influenced!Which means a marketer need to know whom, where, when, what and who, toeffectively interact with the customer! Once again this is another form ofselling! Effective sales strategy always was about the customers and those 5W!

Perception vs Big Data: Product Management is one of the mostimportant functions of Marketing! The reason Product Management was consideredas Marketing Job is probably because Product Managers were perceived to beunderstanding and identifying the consumer needs, “creating products” tosatisfy those “perceived needs” and finally collaborating with Marcom guys tocreate effective campaign to satisfy the “perceived need”!

In digital world,it is very different as it is more scientifically done as it is completely Bigdata driven. This helps build products and services that are very customerfocused and customized. The Product Management in digital world is more drivenby science then art! Based on the data available, new products are created orexisting products are tweaked to suite the customers, communication iscustomised, their feedback is tracked in real time and that is the basis tocreate new versions/products. Once again, all these seems to be sales job intraditional world where one interacts with the customers, collects data,provides feedback and help create new products and services! Now as a ProductManager in digital world you just do all that as Marketing person! So can asales guy do this better in Digital World! Yes, May be!

Conclusion: Marketing people have to just add a sales attitude totheir marketing stills where they think about customers and not consumers(‘Customers’ are those who are existing customers and are contemplating buyingand ‘consumers’ are who may look like they may buy based on their demographicprofile), learn more science and stay close to the customers. On the other handSales guys can now take this opportunity, with some intense training off-course, to convert themselves in digital marketing people as they are moreinteractive, can handle and read into customer data thus customer physic moreeasily  and can connect it to the sell,manage and build products and services! Hey I just cleared the confusion!Marketing and sales are merging in digital world! All that needed to be done is

1.    TeachSelling and Certain Science to Marketing People

2.    TeachSoft Skills of Marketing to Sales People

I know that I havetouched upon a very sensitive subject, but trust me, unless you take bull bythe horn, you will not know how to tame him, Hence, to me it looks like thatthe Digital Marketing and Online Sales have very thin line between them as theKRAs are almost similar! Having saidthat, neither of them are a threat to each other if and only if their focalpoint is customers & their pain points, they are part of customers decisionmaking journey by providing customized solution as well as track their responsein real-time. Also the space has just opened up and there is dearth of talent!So, it is time to hone your skills!

Disclaimer: I may be sounding harsh on Marketing guys but that isnot the intention. All I am trying to point out is that in digital media,staying close to customers and tracking their behavior needs understanding ofscience behind it! Traditional media is going to stay as far as we embracematerialistic world and it shall have its importance in that world! However, ifyou switch to digital marketing, approach it by sales attitude and learn thescience behind it as that puts real customer in forefront!