People often confuse the words Marketing and selling.
Marketing involves a lot more than just selling. Marketing is the whole process of taking goods or services from the point of supply to the point of consumption. Marketing certainly includes selling, but also includes transportation, packaging, genteral promotions, after sales service and more.
A Marketing manager may well control the packaging, the warehousing of products, despatch and delivery, handling returns, billing and bad debts, and many other things including advertising, promoting, approaching and communicating with customers, taking orders, and processing orders. Sales Managers may only handle some of these tasks, perhaps those directly associated with taking and processing orders.
Where Do We Sell?
We sell in so many different ways today since the onset of the internet. Of course, the way we sell in one environment will often be quite different to how we sell in another.
Selling in Shops
The physical environment of a shop can come into play in many different ways. The first thing to consider is where the shop is located. Location can be crucial to a shops success. One thing to consider is foot traffic – are there lots of people walking past the shop that can be enticed in? This is where shopping malls can be a popular choice where the close proximity of lots of shops creates lots of foot traffic. The shop will need to be easily accessible, with parking available within easy walking distance. Shops often group together in clusters, for example clusters of fast food, clusters of cafes, or clusters of clothing boutiques. Whilst at first this may seem like competition, in fact it often works in the businesses favour, as it draws people to the area that are looking for what you have on offer (you just have to make sure your offer is on par with, or even better, stand out from the rest!). But not all shops will have lots of people walking past them, but can still maintain a good business, but this becomes more about advertising where your shop is and making yourself known. For example, if your shop is down a lane or away from the other shops, some shops will put up an A frame pointing to the shop or there may be a poster advertising that your shop is nearby. People may travel miles to visit a niche market shop, such as a model train shop, but they will not necessarily be so keen to travel if they feel a shop is the same as everyone else’s, so it is important to establish a marketing presence.
Telephone marketing has become popular; and undoubtedly works sufficiently well enough for business to continue using it. This can however be a form of marketing that polarizes customer attitude. Some people respond and buy over the phone; but others hate dealing with a sales person in this way.
Of course, many products today are sold online. The internet has increased the market for many products exponentially. Where once a person could only sell in their town, village or may be their country without long journeys, today we can sell nearly anywhere in the world.
But even with such a massive market, online businesses can and do fail.
Presentation is as important online as it is in a physical shop. Customers want to see a good, well organised, well lit and pleasant website. They want to be able to see easily where to go to find what they want and be able to buy products quickly and easily. This is the same as in a shop, but many websites fail to offer this. They may be confusing or make products hard to find.
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