Some believe that marketing drives sales and traditionalists would have you think that sales do not require marketing to thrive – opinions can swing either way, but the truth of the matter is that they are inextricably linked. To find success in your fashion business, it is important to understand the difference between the two and how their narratives have changed over the course of time.
Marketing refers to the methods used to make it captivating for the consumer to buy into your product — usually referring to mediums like advertising, PR and most importantly, an alluring social presence, whereas sales is the process of selling your product to potential customers through various channels like wholesale, retail, trade shows, pop-ups or e-commerce. Over the years, marketing has become a lot more than just setting the four P’s of product, pricing, place, and promotion into play, and it now calls for segmentation, targeting and positioning for the brand to be more effective. Nowadays, lucrative selling is about building a relationship with the customer or buyer rather than just aggressively pushing for sales. If you promote your product well, by the time the customer is face-to-face or on your e-commerce site, they are already pre-interested and pre-motivated to give you their money — marketing is all about selling in advance.
Lately, a tried and true success formula comes from positioning your brand with subcultures, more famously, millennial and feminist marketing rising above it all. What sparked as wearing a sentiment on your sleeve last year amidst the American Presidential elections with designers like Prabal Gurung and Maria Grazia Chiuri offering more statement slogans than silhouettes at fashion week went on to become the most trickled down trend of the year with high street favourites like Topshop, H&M and Mango following suit. Influencer marketing, another it-trend that seems to do well with the millennial crowd has seen fruitful results when it comes to collaborations.
Quality marketing greatly assists the sales efforts of every brand. As digital and cultural trends continue to evolve, marketing trends will keep changing and adapting to them, whereas sales practices will always remain the same. However in recent years, there is one game changing agent that has managed to help sales and marketing converge to work like a well oiled machine — enter, AI technology. A market that is forecasted to reach $37 billion by 2025, AI is capable of tracking and analyzing vast amounts of data, it can elicit information like a person, rather than an analytics tool that simply finds patterns in the data it collects like a machine hereby giving small organisations the ability to do more and appear bigger.
Marketing attracts customers to your product and then hands them off to sales. Sales is then able to effectively understand the customer’s needs and interests to close the deal. When marketing and sales work together, whether it is through AI, predictive data or sub-cultural pulls, there’s always a higher rate of profit for your brand.