According to the "Law of gravitation in business”, companies can only exist over the long term if, and only if, they can sell their services with a certain level of profits. But be careful. When we speak of sales and marketing, we do not mean empty advertising and then the hard sell to the end customer. That can, in certain situations, generate some money over the short term. However, this will never create a valuable position in the eyes of customers over the long term. If you want to learn more about sales and marketing, you must have a clear image of the core meaning of the concept. One point of reference here is our understanding of positioning vis-à-vis Domizlaff: “...it’s about creating and safeguarding a monopoly position in the psyche of the consumer.”
It follows that sales and marketing must
- portray a company in the market with all of its services such that the desired target groups can actually identify the unique core benefit of the company’s products and services,
- inspire an underlying desire among those target groups to acquire this benefit,
- and ensure that potential customers can purchase this benefit easily and conveniently and, if possible, on a repeated basis.
These are the challenges that many companies are simply unable to overcome. There is a lack of clarity with regard to what a coherent and integrated sales and marketing strategy needs to achieve in terms of unique positioning, as illustrated in the following passages:
- Marketing and communications is still equated with creating commercials, ads and portfolios. Output is thereby reduced to "entertaining" advertisements produced by "creatives” who have no tangible connection with the actual benefits of the product, much less a connection to the business logic at work. Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin illustrate the point effectively in their bestselling book “Differentiate or Die”: “Market barkers have been replaced by a lack of clarity. Many of today’s commercials are so creative and entertaining that it is often difficult to identify the company and the product being promoted.
- Sales, in many cases, means nothing more than selling the product – when necessary, at any price. This is reflected, among other things, in the countless sales meetings around the world where the excuse "too expensive" is used to explain a lack of success.
Good arguments as a basis for good sales and marketing logic
So where are the relevant starting points on the path to a sales and marketing logic that makes a company a unique provider of benefits in the eyes of consumers? The answer to that is trivial and yet complex. Sales and marketing logic earns its moniker when it gives people a valid reason for “having” to buy products or services. The pivotal point is the valid “argument”. In order to be sustainable, this can only be based on your products and services. If you are selling something you don’t have, you will never be successful.
Having a tangible argument does not necessarily mean you are revolutionizing a market or able to create this "monopoly position in the psyche of the consumer". Success requires setting the scene and, according to Johann Karl August Lewald, that means effectively putting the appropriate elements into place. That is what we mean by a sales and marketing logic.
All activities at important customer contact points must be set up such that the customer can identify and experience the unique element of your product or service. We are talking about flawless information here, not trivial commercials or a barker at the bazaar. We are talking about using marketing and sales as a method of systematic persuasion. Of course the question must be asked: How does one combat the short-term memory of consumers. The key is in the “new”. When people think a new and meaningful message is being sent, they open their eyes and ears to see and hear more. Our brains do this automatically. We are always on the hunt for something new, whether consciously or not. The goal is to exploit this opportunity with precision and purpose.