John Janstch, who should know better, wrote a blogpost for his Duct Tape Marketing that indicated that marketing was the new sales.
OK John, pay attention.
Marketing is NOT the new sales. Marketing is all the things you do to make your products and services stand out from your competitors. Think Apple IPhone vs. Android: one is the essence of cool, very personable, one is technically hip, but IMHO, somewhat difficult to use, not as personable. Personable has won, so far.
There’s another key element in this equation: Perception. Your customers have got to agree with your message, understand it, and be moved to buy by it. Something has to be different, otherwise you get into a price war with your competitors. Is a Rolex a better watch than some other? No, but it’s perceived as being better.
You have to figure out how to get your message to your target market (s), or the people most likely to buy your products or services. This usually involves trial and error, as you figure out which media and promotions work best. Facebook and Twitter don’t work if your target market doesn’t look at, or be influenced by them.
Now, we do agree with John on one point: if you get your marketing positioning right, in the minds of your customers, the sales process becomes relatively easy. If you miss, then you’re in commodity hell, which is where most businesses and retailers are.