As a business owner, winging it is simply not an option. There is too much competition out there, which means that the only way to succeed (not to mention, stay afloat) is to develop effective business strategies. Two critical strategies you’ll need to implement include marketing and business development.
At first glance, you might assume that these two strategies are one and the same. After all, isn’t the act of marketing your business needed to grow and develop it? However, there are some key distinctions between marketing vs. business development.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is the process of creating brand awareness and generating interest in your products and services so that people will want to buy it. The goal of your marketing efforts should be to reach as many potential customers as possible and get them excited about what you’re selling.
There are many different marketing strategies that businesses can use, and the most effective approach will often vary depending on what you’re selling, as well as the target market. As such, your marketing team will have to do thorough market research to identify who your target audience is and the best way to engage with them.
Marketing strategies have become increasingly more complex in recent years, as businesses need to account for the many different ways that people can now interact with brands. For example, even a startup company might have a website and a social media page, in addition to running ads on Google and Facebook. They also need to create compelling content on blogs or on channels like LinkedIn that attracts attention and encourages their customer base to share it.
There are two main types of marketing strategies that you can implement. These include inbound marketing and outbound marketing.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a strategy that helps you attract leads to your business through the use of content, such as blog posts, infographics, webinars, and podcasts relevant to your target audience. This content can help generate traffic to your website from search engines, social media channels, paid ads, and more.
The key with inbound marketing is to create content that is interesting and useful to your target audience. Doing so will help spread awareness of your brand, attract new leads, and encourage them to visit your website to learn more about your product or service. The idea is to put your business in a position to be easily found by qualified leads that can be nurtured into new customers. With that in mind, most inbound marketing is done via digital marketing online.
What is outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on reaching out to potential customers through a variety of channels, often offline. This can include cold phone calls, TV commercials, radio ads, print ads, and digital signage. The goal is to make people aware of your business and its offers.
Outbound marketing is different from inbound marketing in that it relies more on aggressive outreach. You are essentially trying to reach as many people as possible, even if they weren’t searching for certain products or services. It’s why outbound marketing is often referred to as “disruption” marketing. When done correctly, outbound marketing can be very effective. For example, using digital signage outside your business can help spread awareness of your company’s presence to anyone who passes by.
What is Business Development?
Business development is the process of finding, evaluating, and implementing new ideas and processes that will grow the company. Essentially, the goal of your business development team should be to find ways to increase revenue over the long term.
Business development strategies are often more tactical than marketing strategies. They are focused on specific actions that will increase sales, rather than on generating awareness or interest that might eventually lead to sales. For example, a business development strategy might involve setting up meetings with potential clients or partners, or researching new markets and expanding your business into those markets. Business development consists of participating in ideas, activities, and initiatives that can involve the following:
- Developing new sales strategies for your sales team
- Finding ways to improve the sales process for your salespeople
- Expanding the business into new territories
- Evaluating ideas for new products
- Planning product development timelines
- Attending trade shows and industry conferences to find new clients
- Building strategic partnerships with new businesses
- Discovering and evaluating new opportunities in the market
- Identifying and evaluating new markets
Successful Companies Implement Both Marketing and Business Development Strategies
While both marketing and business development are important for driving sales, they are two very different strategies. A marketing plan focuses on generating awareness and interest in your product or service, while business development focuses on discovering new opportunities and developing new strategies that can help to increase your revenue.
The best way to drive sales is to use both marketing and business development strategies together. By creating awareness and interest in your product or service, you can attract potential leads, while implementing business development ideas can help you discover new revenue opportunities and help you close more sales.