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Stephen Newton

There’s a difference between marketing and sales. Marketing seeks to understand consumers’ needs, wants and desires and to design product to match those needs, wants and desires. Sales starts with the product, then seeks out those who need, want and desire it.

I think you mean sales when you say marketing (a common mistake) and that your open source sales concept is simply marketing under another name.

Marketers have always enabled consumers to direct their brands. If you don’t do that, you’re not a marketer at all, but a salesman.

James Cherkoff

Thanks for your comments Stephen. I don't understand this:

I think you mean sales when you say marketing (a common mistake) and that your open source sales concept is simply marketing under another name.

Could you elaborate ?

Stephen Newton

Sure. At the risk of teaching granny to suck eggs, I’ll explain the difference between marketing and sales with the evolutionary model.

First generation business is production orientated. These define themselves in terms of what they make. E.g ‘we make widgets, that’s what we do’. They make the product that suits them and hope it will suit others too. Nowadays, only a few SMEs, partnerships and sole traders conform to this model

Second generation businesses are sales orientated. They define themselves as widget sellers and say everyone must gear themselves to selling widgets and convincing others that they want widgets. Again, these tend to be SMEs.

Third generation businesses are marketing orientated. They say all this is wrong. A marketing orientated business first identifies what people need, want and desire. It then looks at its own skill set and identifies the ways in which it can fulfil those needs, wants and desires (which may or may not include making widgets). Then when it’s confident its offer meets consumer needs, wants and desires it hands over to sales to let the world know.

Marketing orientated business is already having long and detailed conversations with its customers. No supermarket, for example, would stock a product or rearrange its shelves without extensive conversations with customers. Theses businesses put huge effort into understanding what customers need, want and desire.

Yet you talk of marketing as if it’s a one way street, with brand owners fashioning product to suit themselves and then going out to convince consumers that they want what’s on offer. You’re describing second generation sales orientated businesses.

And then you say you’ve identified some trends that mean these sales oriented businesses should involve consumers in their ‘marketing’. If they do that, they’ll become third generation marketing oriented businesses. But some of us have already moved on to the fourth generation and are looking for the fifth. Doh!

James Cherkoff

Nice text book stuff Stephen, in my experience it very rarely looks anything like this in reality. Yes, of course, marketing is about understanding the market. However, the majority of large businesses, especially FMCG, peddle the type of theory you outline whilst really being slaves to a defunct broadcast model based on a 'golden age' sold to them by Big Media and their agencies.

Stephen Newton

Whatever way you cut it, all you’re saying now is that some businesses have failed to move from a sales to a marketing orientated approach (you’ve just repacked the original marketing concept as ‘open source marketing’). You certainly haven’t identified a new path for business that would be more effective than that taken successfully by others.

Johnnie Moore

This is a good primer on open source. It's always tempting to get into semantics about what's sales and what's marketing, but for me this misses the point. What's happening online is qualitatively very different from a great deal of sales/marketing we've seen in the past. There's a major blurring of the line between producer and buyer; I believe many companies will struggle to get this shift. The ones that do eg Ebay, Amazon, will probably thrive...

Bruce DeBoer

Marketing = what's in the best interest of the customer. Sales = what's in the best interest of the company. Marketing = Pull. Sales = Push. General descriptions but I think they work. It's good to have the vernacular down pat but how does it apply to Open Source? I don't see too much that is sales oriented in the Open Source examples that I've seen discussed.

I would love to participate in a discussion string that addresses how a company can generate an open source campaign for it's brand. Ebay developed a web space for others to play as does Amazon. It was deliberate and innovative.

A brand owner needs to harness this new tool and integrate it into their overall marketing strategy.

that's true becuased i was one of them

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