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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Purpose of Marketing is to Drive Sales

Written by  Duane Bailey

The purpose of marketing is to drive sales. All of those other things – market research, branding, segmentation, customer experience mapping, pricing, channel optimization, product design, event marketing, social media – are just activities. Activity is interesting. Results matter.

Consider your personal or corporate brand. How much time and money have you invested in any of the above marketing activities during the past year? Have your sales results improved, remained the same or declined? Are the changes in your sales results statistically relevant? To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, are you better off today than you were a year ago?

To ensure your marketing activities are driving statistically relevant improvements in your sales results, let me offer a few insights:
  • Before any marketing investments are made, set measurable sales goals and timeframes for achieving them. Be accountable and publish them – use them as the benchmark for measuring the success of your marketing activities.
  • When sales results are reported, look for direct correlations between cause and effect. For example, if the goal is to increase market share among a targeted demographic, then it is reasonable to expect statistically improved year-over-year and higher comparative results for that segment vs. others who were not targeted.
  • Insist on transparency and collaboration in all of your marketing efforts. Be sure input from customers, salespeople and other relevant stakeholders is sought as ideas are being discussed, not after decisions have been made to obtain buy-in.

After all, the purpose of marketing is to drive sales.

For more on marketing and sales, click on these posts:
• Activity Is Interesting, Results Matter
• Change So Loud You Can Hear It – So Why Wasn’t Anybody Listening?
• How to Tell the Difference Between Sales and Marketing

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

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