Marketing vs. Sales: New Insight on an Old Debate

The world’s most prominent CEOs have long studied the marketing vs. sales debate, as demonstrated by the 1976 publication of Robert Bartels’ The History of Marketing Thought, which marked a legendary turning-point in the marketing industry.

Early adopters defined marketing as one-way communication to foster interest in a product or service. The same industry leaders defined selling as two-way communication designed to allow the prospect to do 70% of the talking.
A day in the life of a marketing professional and sales rep involves different goals, mind sets, knowledge and perspective.  A closer look at both sides of the fence sheds light on the fundamental differences between marketing and sales.


Positioning is the main goal of marketing – aligning brands with a particular niche or industry. Marketers constantly seek to make an impression on current and potential customers with integrated strategies incorporating branding, messaging, communications and sales. Marketers employ, measure and report on various technical aspects – ranging from advertising and PPC to web design, analytics, database management and statistics and reporting – with the overarching goal to successfully bring a brand to market.


The main goal in sales is simple: more sales. Sales reps have quotas to meet, and that’s the long and short of it. Overarching strategies are rare in the sales world, as most sales associates implement tried-and-true- tactics to gauge success. A sales rep may simply commit to making one hundred sales calls each week, for example. Sales associates focus on execution: making stuff happen. The secret to sales is always getting the customers back and of course, learning to present the company in a better light. In many respect, sales works hand-in-hand with marketing.

Marketing Changes, Sales Stays the Same

There’s an old saying: “Marketing always changes but selling stays the same.” A glance at the marketing and sales industry both forward and backward confirms the reality of this fundamental insight.
There’s little wiggle room in sales in terms of change. Potential customers today have the same motivations to buy, just as sales reps have the same skill sets to sell. The human psyche purchases emotionally and justifies decisions intellectually. That’s the way it’s always been and it will never change.
Conversely, there’s always room for marketing to wiggle. The marketing industry evolved from handing out flyers and setting up billboards to broadcasting on radio and television. Phone books and newspapers gave way to fax machines, email, text messages, websites and now social media.
The bottom line is that technology is never stagnant. It’s always changing. Gone are the days of thinking about marketing as a one-way communication tool. Here to stay are the tech savvy marketing professionals able to get customers and prospects to do most of the talking.

Marketing Technology Trends to Watch

In 2014 alone, marketing will once again undergo a dramatic shift. Consider just a few of the marketing technology trends to watch in 2014:

  • Smart machines – which learn from experience, improve with each interaction and outcome, and assist in solving our most complex questions – will ignite an entire shift in the way people interact with computers and the way we live our lives.
  • The Internet of Things anticipates computers will replace humans to manage massive amounts of consumer data and learn everything there is to know about everything without any help from us. The Internet of Things will change the world by connecting 15 billion things to the Internet.
  • Wearable technology aims to shift health and fitness technology from simply tracking our activity to guiding us. When modern technology becomes fundamental to our daily health and fitness, wearable tech brands like Fitbit and Nike Fuel Band will become household names.
  • Location-based mobile commerce – the ability for retail stores to easily provide product information and allow shoppers to quickly check out via their smartphones – will further evolve the marketing industry in the next year alone.
  • Collaborative consumption – also known as “the sharing economy” or “peer-to-peer commerce” – will enable consumers to become part of the business model. Essentially, individuals can be producers and consumers at the same time. This technology and data management trend will give brands the ability to create a more fluid market, seamlessly connecting people with common goals.

A Marketing Team You Can Grow With

If marketing always changes but selling stays the same, then the brands of today need the marketing strategies and technologies of tomorrow to stay ahead of the game.
Linx combines the elements of marketing, technologies and strategy to deliver 1000x ROI. We are your ad agency, marketing consultant, design company and sales rep – all wrapped into one.
Our forward-thinking marketing team stays abreast with the latest trends and technologies to take your brand and business to the next level and give your organization a competitive edge. Contact us today for marketing, sales and more.

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