Posted by: DrAlanRae | October 7, 2007

Sales vs Marketing – the Great Debate


This is always one of the hot business topics. You need them both but which discipline has the most clout?

The Sussex Branch of the Chartered Institute of Marketing has organised a debate on this topic on 22nd November at the Gatwick Hilton. The event will be refereed by Nick Peters, ex BBC and editor of Business First Magazine. 

The Sales Tag team is led by none other than the Beermat Entrepreneur Mr Mike Southon  backed up by Joe Adams ex Encyclopedia Britannica.

The Marketing Team is led by Professor Malcolm McDonald of Cranfield and Warwick Business School fame and author of over 40 books. He is more or less ably assisted by your humble correspondent.

Should be a good event. It costs £25 to attend (£20 if you are a CIM member)

You can book here

Having got the Shameless Plug out of the way what do you think? We had a debate on Ecademy recently about whether or not Marketing IS the business.

I suggested that there isn’t anything else because Marketing’s job is to understand the strategic landscape, arrange for offers to be developed that people want to buy and orchestrate all of the interactions with the customer to maximum effect.

Generally people from other disciplines don’t buy into this view – however, ask the question of what else other than marketing fulfils this function and the lack of coherent answers is deafening.

Of course you can have the best marketing plan in the world but if no-one goes out an tries to open or close any business you may as well not have bothered.

In our consultancy and veg sales businesses, you need to have high personal visibility. In our online trading business there’s none. However for the Sales led approach to work you have to have some kind of game plan and idea of how the market works – together with some kind of thought-out offer – otherwise you can be as brutal a closer as you like with no real results.

With the image of the England Pack taking apart the Aussies fresh in our minds I’m irresistibly reminded of something I once heard Will Carling say at a Business Link event in London.

"This isn’t very PC but fundamentally in managing the England Team you have to take into account the differences between Forwards and Backs. To be blunt, we all think they’re retards and they all think we’re mummy’s boys."

In terms of Sales vs Marketing I couldn’t possibly comment as to which is which




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