Who Does What in Marketing, Advertising, and Sales?

Marketing Department holding up a tablet with a graph on it.

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It's easy for confusion to set in when you begin tossing around terms like advertising, marketing, and sales. The truth is that most people don't understand the difference – even many who work in these fields. It is not uncommon for sales jobs to be listed in the marketing jobs classifications, and the same is true when it comes to jobs that pertained to advertising.

But there's a difference, and each of these components has a part to play in the success of a company. They support each other, but they are not the same. Let's take a look at the defining differences.

The Definition of Marketing

Marketing is the systematic planning, implementation, and control of a mix of business activities that are intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products. It involves the management of the other components. It's been said that the four P's of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. Product and price are self-explanatory. Place refers to where your target customer or client is located – you need to reach them there through another component, that of advertising. And to do that, you'll need a promotion strategy.

The Role of Advertising

Advertising is the paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor. It's the impersonal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers. It takes care of the place in the four P's, reaching your target as they are driving and listening to the radio or thumbing through a magazine or newspaper. It's an inducement. Achieved properly, it can prompt your target to act, to look you up and engage in a sale.

Sales – the Ultimate Result 

The sales process is everything you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. The sales process consists of interpersonal interaction. It's often accomplished in a one-on-one meeting or through cold calls and networking. It's anything that engages you and the prospect or customer on a personal level rather than at a distance.

Advertising takes place at a distance. Marketing is the broad umbrella under which sales operates. Together, advertising and marketing lay the groundwork to warm up the lead and prepare them for the close of the sale.

Using the Terms

When you're placing job listings, be sure to list them in the right category. You'll avoid getting applicants that don't fit the requirements for the positions you're looking to fill.

When it comes to the world of corporations and business structure, look at the different roles and use them to help define how departments can work together with other departments. Identify the role that each department plays when supporting the others.

All three of these components are necessary when it comes to the success of a business, but having a deeper understanding of their purpose can help in organization and planning for that success.