Marketing Is The New Sales

With the adoption of new-age technologies, digital integration, and reinventing marketing communications, it has become easier to determine how marketing is contributing to sales.

Sales is one of the most important functions for any organization and rightly so. It is the main source of revenue for any business. Turn to marketing; without marketing, sales generation is difficult. Marketing and sales are two key functions that have always worked in tandem to achieve what matters the most for an organization – lead generation and conversions. In traditional marketing, it's tough to measure, quantify and align how marketing has contributed to sales. However, with the adoption of new-age technologies, digital integration, and reinventing marketing communications, it has become easier to determine how marketing is contributing to sales.

Never before have both the functions aligned with each other more strongly and seamlessly than for digital expansion of an organization. Marketing communication has been hugely successful in driving high rates of conversions, apart from building brand credibility and brand recall with the end customers in the current state of digital evolution.

It is indeed worth observing how the scenario has changed. As per the American Marketing Association, marketing is defined as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

In view of the same, let’s consider the case of the iPhone 11 launch last year. Within a few days of unveiling the smartphone, iPhone 11 was sold out on Amazon and Flipkart, with millions of orders being placed in India and worldwide. It is not only the product quality that is driving sales here. One can credit brand image for sales too, but it is the marketing communication that plays an instrumental role in building the brand over time. In this case, it is the marketing communications that has already ensured that the phone is sold even before it has hit the stores or even before the selling process actually begins. Marketing communication is driving sales here.

Similar is the story with fashion retail. However, unlike gadgets with one product and few variants, it is more complicated for fashion retail with a huge product range to sell and customer segmentation to cater. Despite the challenges, the fashion retail industry is leveraging digital technology and creative marketing communication like never before to connect with the consumers and drive conversions for the brands.

Digital technologies, social media platforms, personalized content and e-commerce are indeed powerful enablers to support and achieve sales along with meeting marketing objectives. However, it is the marketing communication that takes the person from awareness to purchase in the consumer journey.

In the times of the current pandemic, which has limited the scope for a brand to interact with the consumers, marketing communication through the digital medium is strengthening brand presence, building brand connect, appreciating advocacy and building brand recall with the consumers. It is challenging to drive sales at a time when store visits and physical selling is most impacted along with understanding the consumer needs in this new normal. The pandemic has encouraged people to be more flexible, boosting sales online. Google research shows more people, about 73%, describe themselves as a channel or medium agnostic than the time before the pandemic (65%).

In fashion retail, marketing and sales have ceased to operate in silos. The two functions are highly aligned. Targeted one-to-one marketing content and communication, for instance, messaging and WhatsApp video calling, have emerged as the most successful drivers of sales by delivering customized solutions to the consumer needs. This customized experience encourages the customer to transition from the Zeroth Moment of Truth (of consideration) to Second Moment of Truth (of purchase).

In the fashion retail, the industry is operating at multiple levels to interact and communicate with customers wherever they are, online as well as offline using personalized SMS campaigns, influencer engagements, or strategic digital campaigns. With most buyers in India traditionally choosing the physical stores, marketing communication has played a strong role in driving behavioral change that can persuade the buyers to leverage online channels safely from the comfort of their homes. The idea has been to promise and deliver a unified brand experience to the customers by integrating physical stores with e-commerce marketplace.

As per Statista, people spent 3.13 hours online in the last two weeks of January 2020. After the lockdown was announced, the average consumption grew to 4.39 hours towards March end. Therefore, strategies like virtual stores, video shopping, online brand experience, etc., are able to deliver an in-store experience to the consumers by leveraging virtual reality. The medium is able to engage customers, attract new buyers, strengthen brand loyalty, and increase accessibility.

Through all these efforts, marketing content and communication is leading to a more personalized selling to customers. As in the case of iPhone discussed earlier, a strong marketing communication strategy backed by a solid offering can lead to assured sales even before the product is launched. The 21st century marketing communications is revolutionizing the way brands approach sales and marketing, as marketing now directly translates into sales, helping brands reap rich dividends.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.