Breaking the Myths of Digital Marketing: White-Collar Sales

After spending 12 years of selling everything from a Viagra to Helicopter, when I look back, I realize that the last decade has been the most turbulent when it comes to building a strong sales strategy. Digital Marketing has, of course, emerged in a big way. But does that mean that the old school sale is on its way out?

I get a lot of enquiries from brands and consumers to help them with Digital Marketing- a term I think is grossly misunderstood by sales managers, brands and entrepreneurs. There is no denying the fact that Digital Marketing is trending. Today, every company, whether big or small, relies on its Digital Marketing team for its branding, online presence and overall prosperity, especially the new age millennials, who try to take a dip in Startup Ocean with a Unicorn Dream. But, is there really anything called Digital Sales? My answer is yes! But that’s a broad domain which requires proper metrics for measuring and mapping. We need to diligently talk about it, think for it and build strategies around it instead of only focusing on Digital Marketing. The reason why people tend to fail in understanding this might scare you: either they might be too confused between the two terms or they really don’t know how to distinguish between digital marketing and digital sales. Adding to the horror, there is one more term called lead generation: a high bid keyword in Google ad campaigns. Doesn’t it already feel like a digital Halloween?

 

“Digital Marketing is nothing but branding activity that is done online and lead generation is all about identifying a defined target audience who might be interested in your product; Underline my word- ‘might be interested’, not ‘definitely interested’.”

 

In layman language, Digital Marketing is nothing but branding activity that is done online and lead generation is all about identifying a defined target audience who might be interested in your product; Underline my word- ‘might be interested’, not ‘definitely interested’. This difference is huge because if the lead generation cost is taken purely on a digital route, it will definitely result in higher customer acquisition cost. And even without doing the math right, it is not difficult to guess that it will lead to disaster.

The Salesmen hold the most valuable role in any company. Sales is all about identifying a person or a company’s need and using influence to show them that you have a great solution. Digital Sales is actual sales that happen online. Here, you have a target audience and geography where you place your brand and you market it. With your digital campaigns and ads, you try to hook your customer and make them buy your product.

But what decides the success of your business is the difference in the way you run these campaigns. If you really want to experience even an ounce of success, just get this straight: Digital Marketing and Digital Sale campaigns are pole apart. When you think of Digital Sale, you have to take into account the other components like lead conversions. This again can be done either directly or through a tele-sales process. With all my experience, I can say that for any startup or a new brand breaking through the lead generation process, connecting with the customer via tele-calling and tele-selling works better and yields better result. It also reduces their customer acquisition cost and bounce rates.

 

“Most of the digital marketers have no exposure or experience in any kind of sales. And sales remains sales no matter what prefix you add to it- call it digital sales or offline sales.”

 

When you interact with a Digital Marketing team or a Digital Marketer (Trust me, they are kind of tricky to deal with), understand the customer acquisition cost rather than getting lost in the jargons like CPC, Impressions, Visibility etc. None of it matters until you are doing Digital Marketing only from branding perspective. Anyways being a salesman, I don’t understand these terms and I am rather happy not acknowledging these terms as it helps in reducing my customer acquisition cost.

Another challenge with Digital Marketing is that most of the digital marketers have no exposure or experience in any kind of sales. And sales remains sales no matter what prefix you add to it- call it digital sales or offline sales. In every way, you are ultimately selling your product. Without any experience of sales, the person designing the campaign will never get you the desired result. Let me be blunt here, digital sale is all the more tough and it requires a much more experienced salesman to design the campaign. Reason being that here you don’t interact with your consumer face to face. You need to convince them through digital props: it may be your website, Facebook page or Google Adword. Here, you have to be a better salesman to hook your customer without any physical interaction. If you fail here, your digital strategy may end up in a pit or as these “digital gurus” say, the customer bounced. “Oh yaar! Cart tak aaya par khareda nahin” – the most common pain point of all e-commerce portals or as I may also call it, the most common outcome of a disastrous digital campaign.

In short, choose your digital guru (Digital Marketing guy) carefully. The streets today are flooded with them. Throw a stone in air and chances are that it will fall on the head of a digital marketer- who has no understanding or exposure to sales. You need to understand that sales is emotional and digital marketing should warm up the customer and bring him closer to the purchasing table- a fact most digital marketers don’t understand.

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  • Sushil Kumar

    Everyone gets a little down in the dumps sometimes. With the increasing craze of digital marketing, everyone is forgetting the essence of old school sales. Very insightful blog. Will like to read more articles, often.

    Reply
  • Surendera Sharma

    Succeeding in business is no easy feat. It’s too easy to let business knock you down. Instead of throwing in the towel when there is a business problem, pick yourself back up, buckle down, and get to work.

    Reply

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