A part of marketing is generating sales. And a part of marketing is fostering brand.
There are some myths around this that should be debunked.
Starting with the fact that the two things are separated and can live independently. Perhaps that is true in the short term, but building a business is a long term effort, and eventually brand and sales need to go hand in hand. Brand is what gets you your best-fit customers after all.
Then, there is the idea that sales is (mainly) for the early stages of a company, and brand is for when a company already controls a certain share of the market. This is a belief that comes from an era (and we are talking about probably 10-15 years ago) when markets featured a bunch of players (say between 10 and 50 – now there are hundreds, thousands in some cases). It is also backed by the assumption that investing in brand is something only bigger companies can afford, probably because when talking about brand one thinks at tactics.
Finally, there are many who argue that generating sales is infinitely more measurable than fostering brand. And there is some true to it. But of course, the reality is that most sales-focused activities end up being not measured, mismeasured, unoptimised, and eventually most organisations just throw money at a problem without really understanding what is going on. And on the other hand, we still get emotional in front of marvellously crafted brands and often decide to buy A instead of B in the heat of the moment.
So, perhaps instead of saying that a part of marketing is generating sales and a part of marketing is fostering brand, we could say that marketing is both.
The sooner we get to look at the two things together, the sooner we will stop wondering why the 105th whitepaper is not driving pipeline or why the new logo is not resonating with our audience.
That is a waste of time.