What is the difference between Marketing vs Business Development
In order to sustain, businesses are always looking for new strategies and solutions that will improve operations and increase sales. To do so, more and more businesses are trying to understand the difference between marketing vs. business development. Especially in more recent years because marketing has gained a greater role in sales and business development functions.
Marketing has long been known to be an important aspect of a company; business development plays an equally as important role. While the two terms are mistakenly used interchangeably, understanding the difference is important because it will enable you to fully leverage their strengths and effectively implement them to help your business grow and sustain.
| Fractional CMO | Growth Strategist |
Marketing and Development
The difference between marketing and business development is best understood by answering,
What is Marketing? Marketing focuses on developing a competitive advantage by generating brand awareness, optimizing brand perceived value, promoting products and services, attracting opportunities, and delivering messaging to inform and educate potential customers in order to drive demand and influence purchasing decisions.
What is Business Development? Business development utilizes marketing to go after new opportunities. Business development targets new markets and specific businesses or organizations to gain as clients. It also builds relationships with other businesses and entities to work together and help each other grow. A classic example is a relationship between Microsoft and IBM, the combination of their products created great value which drove sales and generated profitable revenue.
We will explore the differences and similarities between both to provide a deeper understanding of each and how you can make the most of their dynamic to grow your business.
The Role of Business Development
There is some debate about what exactly business development (Biz Dev) is, it can be defined as the process of identifying and confirming new opportunities when you are in a business environment. Its main focus is business growth.
Somebody who works in this role will partake in business development activities such as sales growth, attending trade shows, overall business profitability, and business expansion.
Typically, business development can commence once the marketing plan is in place. Both the business development and marketing plans should work together to excel and improve each strategy.
Business development also plays a huge role in networking, budgeting, product management, and partnerships. It is an important umbrella type of role that works best when intertwined with other departments, such as marketing.
A successful B2B business development approach will manage time efficiently, be resourceful, and make personal connections. The level of success can be measured by the amount of new work gained.
The Role of Marketing in Business
So, what is marketing in business? Marketing, while such a broad definition, is the process of establishing a brand or marketplace for clients or customers. Marketing ultimately is essential for expanding a company and ensuring the company is successful in the future. When marketing is done correctly, it will drive more customers and clients to your company and increase leads and sales.
A marketing professional will work on identifying your target audience/potential new customers and create a method that reaches them successfully. Essentially, marketing is all about your target audience – understanding who they are, how you can communicate to them, what they want, and how your product or service can satisfy them.
Marketing is complex and addresses several functions, that are applicable to business development. They range from developing marketing strategies, brand perception, content development and design, communication, customer experience, and distribution. All this in tangent should increase interest and awareness of the product or service.
An efficient marketing strategy should take into consideration an array of factors. This includes not only creating an effective avenue for consumers to communicate with a brand but also helping to build and retain a good reputation of a company. In turn, this should boost product sales and thus increase revenue.
Marketing also drips into other roles such as public relationships and website building. A marketing team needs a diverse range of skills. They should keep up to date with industry trends, social media sensations, SEO updates, and the direction of marketing. That’s why a balanced team with a unique set of aptitudes is necessary.
As you may be able to recognise, marketing and business development are not against each other, they work best together, but they do have some differences which are vital to acknowledge. Where business development is absent, marketing steps in, and vice versa.
How are Business Development and Marketing Different?
As mentioned, business development and marketing are terms that are very often used interchangeably, but they do have noteworthy differences.
As mentioned above, business development focuses on strategic partnerships and building up business relationships. Marketing focuses heavily on communication and targeting consumers. In most organizations, the sales team will receive qualified leads from both marketing and business development and close the deals that both teams have brought in. Both teams should be working tangentially to achieve all business objectives.
Marketing is the heart of the customer strategies- ensuring the messaging and strategy are working in the right way that it will retain customers and find new ones. Marketing lays the foundations that business development builds on.
Business development uses the groundwork that marketing has crafted, creates new pathways to a customer, and creates new sales and conversions. Many business development managers use the work of the marketing team to achieve their own goals.
In summary, marketing identifies who the customer is and communicates with them down the road to a sale. Business development builds, leverages, and improves relationships. And the sales team close the whole process.
Of course, every department is focused on the business’s overall growth.
How are Marketing and Business Development Similar?
It’s clear that both have similarities, which is why they are often mistaken for each other.
For example, both biz dev and marketing aim to increase leads. The marketing team will, if done correctly, bring in an array of potential leads through, say, SEO, social media, or emails. The business development teams will help develop better-qualified and strong leads. Performing these specific tasks in marketing and business development will help you meet your client’s needs while also communicating effectively with any prospects.
Obviously, these new leads are found quite differently with both teams. For instance, business development will use data streams to target stakeholders, partners, and customers. Whereas marketing will use influencers, analysts, and customers to develop the best marketing strategy that will continue to help drive sales and leads.
Together they Fuel Business Growth
Business development and marketing both have a heavy focus on growth potential. Companies successfully find that combining their marketing strategies with their business development plans helps to generate better leads while also promoting the products. Business development has a focus on improving customer experience and developing meaningful relationships. Marketing focuses on creating content that will attract new customers. Both are aiming to drive lead generation and grow the business.
Importantly, each team should use the same type of linguistics in all material to develop content, messages, events, and promotions – this way everything is consistent and streamlined. It benefits both aspects.
Lastly, both the marketing team and business development team focus on finding new opportunities. Marketing will develop connections through activities and social media, helping the company to stay ahead of all competition. Business development will make the most of events and forums to find new opportunities and trends. Both departments should focus on ensuring that they always look for new opportunities that will benefit lead development and business growth.
How Can Business Development and Marketing Work Together?
These two departments should work together. Their shared goals and focuses always lead to a mutually beneficial outcome that will help excel the company.
A cohesive strategy that works together is the dream team. We should not look at business development and marketing as opposing teams. They should be regarded as members of the same team, working together to achieve sales and growth goals. When they work together, they will take advantage of the strengths of each side, while making their way around their differences. When these teams support each other and interact effectively, a company has a high potential to have a higher return on investment and overall business growth.
Biz dev and marketing have long been recognized as a perfect match. Mainly following a process of marketing, business development building from those foundations, and the sales swooping in and closing all the sales. Marketing will help support the business development department by creating content that will create a consistent message and build a brand, and provide marketing analysis. These two departments can also work together to host events, communication, and create physical and digital content.
The Bottom Line
Any business looking to drive substantial growth must develop strategies that unite Marketing and Business Development to generate the greatest results. Strategies should be precisely targeted on specific audiences, whether it is a market, an organization, or any other group with similarities. These two complimentary functions are very powerful when executed properly.
Business development often cannot work well without the input and support from marketing. Similarly, the marketing team will struggle to reach their ROI goals without the business development team.
To conclude, marketing and business development should be considered integral parts of any business, regardless of its size. While they have very similar objectives and focuses, they should be treated as separate but equal. As they are exponential improve growth, making them extremely beneficial to each other. When the marketing and business development team create a perfect synergy, there is no stopping growth.