What is Marketing? Marketing is about identifying your key differentiators, developing your message and establishing a positioning within your market(s). Think about advertising, event promotion, website content, search engine optimization (SEO), and building thought leadership through public relations. There are many more to go with that! These are all marketing strategies!
What is Business Development? Business Development is about making connections. It’s building upon the brand that you have established through marketing efforts to connect your audience to your products and services. It’s prospecting (networking), qualifying leads, and then converting those leads into clients. Business development is all about creating relationships!
HOW DO THEY WORK TOGETHER?
Where do Marketing and Business Development overlap? The sales cycle for most professional services is longer than ever. Once you have identified a qualified lead, your marketing efforts can’t stop. Nurturing leads over a long period of time is critical for retaining top-of-mind awareness. The Marketing side of lead nurturing may include sharing branded content and educational opportunities through email marketing, event marketing and social media outreach. Marketing should also provide Business Development with the sales tools they need to convert a warm lead into a client (proposal language, presentation training/support, slide decks, printed collateral and even branded thank you notes and gifts). The true Business Development side may include personal emails, follow-up phone calls, one-on-one meetings/lunches or golfing (among other events/activities) together.
WHICH DO YOU NEED?
Marketing or Business Development? When it comes to developing a Business Development strategy for your firm or business, Marketing is an essential piece! Likewise, a Branding and Marketing strategy should be built with your Business Development goals in mind. The two not only complement each other, they depend upon each other! However, that doesn’t make them the same. As you consider your Marketing and Business Development goals, think about where your firm currently has strengths and weaknesses. You may find that you need more exposure and new Marketing tactics for generating leads. Or you might find that you have warm leads, but just need sales training to help convert them into clients. Therefore, your focus would be on Business Development.
The truth is that both are a necessity to create and sustain success!