Hello, it’s IINO.
Today, I’d like to talk about “the difference between sales and marketing”from a freight forwarder marketer’s point of view.
From my perspective, there are many people and companies in the international logistics industrywho do not understand the difference between sales and marketing.
Actually, when you check other forwarder’s websites, you cannot tell the difference between the two, because they describe pretty much the same job.
First of all, let me explain what sales and marketing are.
First,let me explain sales.
There are sales people in each company, such as manufacturing, trading, finance, tourism, logistics etc.
Your image of sales is, that they visit customers, and provide their products and services.
Some people refer to sales people as “runners”, others refer as “consultants”.
We are aware that there are sales people in each company, but we don’t hear much about marketers.
Companies with a marketing department are normally in a specific industry, such as publicity agencies or automotive companies, or a large company.
Or, they only deal with marketing and exist as “a marketing company”.
Sometimes, a consultant from a consulting company will use marketing to provide improvement advice for their client.
For now, let’s define the word, “marketing”.
The word “marketing”, is used in many places in life.
For example, twitter marketing, YouTube marketing, and influencer marketing etc.
I have heard even “drinking marketing”.
However these are not “marketing”
They are just one promotional activity within marketing.
So, what does marketing mean ?
There is a definition, which I feel is the most appropriate for marketing.
“Good marketing eliminates the need for sales”.
This quote is taken from Peter Drucker, the god of management.
For example, if marketing is well performed, there is no need for active sales, in other words, all that is required is, to place the product in front of customers who are ready to buy.
There is no need for sales. This is good “marketing”.
We don’t see freight forwarders and other logistics industries putting a lot of effort into marketing.
Why? I think, it’s because “their senior management does not understand marketing well”
I believe it is such a waste.
In the past, I studied marketing and I have used the skills through my experiences.
I am using the experience in the current freight forwarding job, and was able to get good results in Thailand, when I started the job 7 years ago with zero customers. In addition, I now use YouTube to continuously obtain new customers.
I hope you understand the definition of sales and marketing.
Next, I’d like to explain the difference between sales and marketing, and the advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of sales are in short, “easy to understand” and “quick”.
Compared to marketing, the “sales” function is easy to understand.
So, senior management of the company knows the function of sales, so they tend to encourage lots of “sales”.
In fact, if sales can listen to their customer and provide good proposals, it could obtain good results.
てThe disadvantage of sales is, from a management point of view, they rely too much on good sales people.
Also, sales people are required to have a certain level of sales skills.
Sometimes, there is a super sales person with high sales skills.
If we depend on this sales person, they can sell very well, but when this sales person leaves the company, it will be a great loss to the organization.
If this sales person’s knowledge is not shared between the team and the company, the company’s ability will drop dramatically.
Also, a poorly skilled sales person will not be able to sell. This is linked to the employment interview, but once this person is employed, it will become an unnecessary expense for the company.
There will be financial and time costs to train a person to become a highly skilled sales person.
I have my own company, and I experience these problems daily.
So, on the other hand what are the advantages of marketing?
It is that “Organizations can increase the ability to attract customers”.ことです。
They don’t have to rely on a specific sales person, and they can use marketing to allow customers to approach them.
By the way, a sales person can use marketing by themselves, and if they can do that, I can promise that, they will become a highly skilled sales person with increased value.
Let’s talk about this in a different video.
If marketing is well performed, the customers are already “ready to buy” and “interested in products”, so even if it’s not a highly skilled sales person, they are already in good condition to sell.
This is the huge advantage of marketing.
Also,another advantage of marketing is that, you will be able to see the result in figures.
Marketing is like science. You will implement one measure, check the effect, and repeatedly make improvements.
It doesn’t depend on people, so it is easy to measure the effect,
and you can tell what went well, and what didn’t go well in the figures.
This is easy to control, and improvement measures will be shown in the figures, so you can get better results.
On the other hand, what are the disadvantages of marketing? It costs and takes time.
If you need to get results quickly, you will need to obtain samples, so you will need to spend more money.
In addition, if the exposure level is increased, you will receive enquiries from customers who were not targeted.
If you restrict the message, you could eliminate this kind of problem, but if the marketing you are aiming for is on a smaller scale, you may not get any customers.
You need to maintain the balance.
Also,another disadvantage is, that marketing is deemed “difficult”.
Consultants from consulting companies tend to use marketing terminologies, and send you a highly priced invoice, however, marketing is not that difficult.
There are different analysis and promotions involved in marketing, so if you start by taking easy steps, you can achieve the same results.
Let me explain sales and marketing in an easier format. A company with sales strength has some highly skilled sales people.
A company with marketing strength provides strong weapons to sales people with ordinary skills.
If highly skilled sales people leave the company, the company will be negatively impacted, however, a company with marketing strength will not be affected as much.
Now, I will provide you with an example of our marketing.
In our company, we use customer “targeting” to increase our company strength to deliver the message.
Targeting means that you select certain customers to deliver the company brand image, company’s strength and charm points.
Many freight forwarding companies do not know the difference between these two.
The majority of company advertise themselves as;
・One stop service.
When you look up their websites, their websites are similar to each other.
So, the only area the customers will check, are “sales performance” and “price”.
In our company, I tell my Thailand domestic Japanese customers that “our strength is marine export” at the beginning.
Also, for overseas agencies and potential customers, I deliver the message, “IINO-san for Thailand logistics” repeatedly.
By saying this, we can deliver the message to customers who need marine export, which is our strength. We will more likely be chosen, compared to our competitors, allowing us to obtain the job.
Also, it makes it memorable for the overseas freight forwarding agencies, when considering using IINO-san for Thailand logistics.
Once you clarify the target, which media should you use ?
I mainly use YouTube, Twitter and Linkedin, but sometimes, I use Facebook.
Also, I summarize the contents in the blog, and I put a lot of effort to ensure it will appear on top of the Google search engine.
From this, we have received some enquiries from customers who have watched YouTube, and overseas freight forwarding companies wishing to ship from Thailand.
We have actually paid visits and held meetings online to carry out sales activities.
We can discuss with customers who are already interested in conducting business with us, so it is a high probability that we will obtain the business.
By the way, documents for sales presentations include targeting and advantages.
Covid-19 is still rampaging throughout the world. It is said that we will have a new normal with Covid-19.
Many companies have introduced work from home, and there are customers who decline to meet in person.
Under the such situation, can we obtain new customers only by doing “lots of sales”.
It is difficult to make first contact with someone who is working from home, and it is not easy to request an online meeting with a person you don’t know.
Personally, I wouldn’t like that kind of sales, and I don’t think it is possible.
The reason why I chose this topic is that, as a freight forwarder, I wanted to tell you, that we need to review the style of obtaining new customers.
Let’s summarize today’s topic.
There are only a few freight forwarding companies with marketing.
The definition of marketing is defined in “Good marketing eliminates the need for sales” , quoted by Peter Drucker.
Actually, there are advantages and disadvantages for sales and marketing.
Advantages of sales are “easy to understand”, and “you can get results quickly if all goes well”.
A disadvantage is “depends on specific sales people too much”.
Advantages of marketing are “an organization can increase the ability to attract customers”,and “results can be measured in figures and is easy to improve”.
Disadvantages of marketing are “cost and time”, and “deemed difficult”.
However,from my experience, once you start using marketing, you can get results.
We are currently living in a new normal, and we need to learn to live with Covid-19.
In this society, I think freight forwarders will need appropriate marketing.
From a management point of view, marketing costs money, but it is the same cost as employing a poorly skilled sales person.
To a sales person, I would like to say, if you can use marketing, you will add more value to your existence.
To manage the business and move forward, you need to invest.
Also, even as self investment as an individual, marketing has a value.
It is important to determine, whether it has value or not to the organization, and the individual to survive as a new freight forwarder. Why don’t you introduce appropriate marketing as well as strengthen sales ?
That’s all for today. Thank you.