May 24th, 2010 | Edwin Dearborn, Chief Brand Officer

The words we use have so many meanings that they have begun to represent the same ideas. As they have become garbled, we have become confused. And so it is with the two words, marketing and selling. They seem so interchangeable that they have list there important distinctions and how they operate one with another.

In plain English, marketing is senior to selling. Selling is simply one part of marketing.

Marketing starts with ideas, and from there a survey of opportunities, possibilities and needs within a market. Someone had to conceive of the pet rock before it could be sold. Marketing is large and often complex mix of technologies, of which sales is one part. Marketing also includes market research, industry trends, sociology, surveys, design, branding, beta testing, PR, packaging, social media, web sites, copy writing, distribution, pricing and host of other methodologies and branches of business.

I hear many small businesses call their marketing efforts selling and many of their efforts to sell more, marketing. It may seem like I am being anal, but in reality it is important to not only know the difference, but to also understand the totality of what those words mean and represent in terms of action and depth of planning and application.

I have seen people struggle in their sales, not because they were unsociable or had halitosis. They simply had no marketing strategy, as well as basic marketing skills, and thus thought too small. Or in some other way went about their small business venture like Helen Keller driving a car. They were completely able and capable as a person, but yet still blind.  Helen Keller was an amazing person. She changed the world more than most people who can hear and see. But putting her behind a car and having her drive the Hollywood Freeway at rush hour is far from prudent.

While it may seem time-consuming, becoming educated on the techniques and methods are far faster and more effective than being ignorant. Short cuts never build success or empires. In fact, short cuts are just that. They cut things down and your goals come up short.

George Washington Carver once said, “There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation.” Never was this more true in small business, particularly in the fields of marketing and sales.

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