Your Cart is currently empty.

Fill Cart with Goods

The No.1 Psychological Difference Between a Marketer and Salespeople (and How it can Poison Your Marketing Campaigns)

Career Advising with a Psychologist

What is the difference between a marketer and a salesperson? This was a question that landed in my lap earlier in 2017 when I visited a psychologist for career advice. Back then, I felt anxious and unsettled; that my brain would never shut off. I was worried that my fragmented past with entrepreneurship had done mental damage to me. After working with a series of startups that failed and succeeded, my emotions were high.

The appointments took 3 months to complete. I completed assessments, tests, interviews, and more. By the end of the period, I received a large booklet of data that explained my process for making decisions, how I handle conflict, ways I communicate, and how I tend to participate in relationships.

From the report for career suggestions, I was recommended a career in marketing first, then sales. The data showed it was a close call. I know functionally the difference between Sale sand Marketing, but I was curious what characteristic moved me towards marketing and not sales.

The psychiatrist explained that certain traits are linked to different careers. Based upon these traits, certain behaviours come out in workplaces that are favoured in some environments and discouraged in others.

Ultimately, the trait that moved me closer towards marketing was patience.

Patience as it Affects Sales and Marketing

In the work-environment of sales and marketing, there are underlying behaviours that dictate whether someone belongs on the marketing-side of operations or the sales-side. If you are on the wrong side, certain behaviours can bleed into the department you serve and can poison your department’s performance.

Let’s look at a sales-minded person. A salesperson is often interested in making money. They are charismatic, are comfortable with pressure, and go in for the kill – I mean sale…

If a salesperson were to become involved in marketing activities such as an email nurture or brand awareness campaign, it’s likely that their ‘I wanna make money today’ attitude will kick in and negatively impact the result of the campaign.

Alternatively, imagine if a marketer became a salesperson. Marketers are typically more patience and conscious of the lead’s perspective of the company and its products. When marketers are put into action on the sales front, they often under perform. Marketers will often take the long-road to victory and pass along resources than directly ask the lead to buy their product. This leads to more unqualified leads, less sales opportunities, and overall, a decrease in sales pipeline.

Sample Situations where Sales Derails Marketing

Some real life examples of salespeople derailing marketing campaigns include:

  1. When a casual drip email begins with a short story, then introduces a product, then pushes a CTA button displaying “Register Now for Only $97”.
  2. The classic “PS: Sales Script” at the end of a drip email. In some cases,┬áthis is okay, but keep in mind it will derail whatever call-to-action you were intending. Essentially, it turns your email into a spammy sales email.
  3. Advertisements that aim to accomplish brand awareness, consumer research, and to sell a product in just one ad (case below). A single advertisement should only try to fulfill one ad-type at a time.

Characteristics of Great Marketers & Salespeople

Listed below are characteristics of marketers and salespeople. Based on your position, interest, or desire to become a better marketing/salesperson, try to identify the areas you’re weak in and develop your skillsets to become stronger in your field.

Ideal Characteristics of Marketers

  • They are patient.
  • They are someone who executes.
  • They stick to one CTA at a time.
  • They strategically nurture leads.
  • They are campaign-oriented.
  • They like to exercise creativity.


Ideal Characteristics of Salespeople

  • They are charismatic.
  • They have interpersonal skills.
  • They know how to introduce a product or service.
  • They always keep an ear open to prospect new opportunities.
  • They like swiping credit cards.
  • They have a survival mindset.

Case & Point: ClickFunnel’s ‘Gold Digger’ Campaign

ClickFunnels is a technology company founded by Russell Brunson (a salesperson). The ClickFunnels software gives users tools to build landing pages for their products and services.

Recently ClickFunnels launched a new advertising campaign. While the first minutes was good, they hit on a number of common mistakes that occur when a salesperson gets involved with ad-creative.

For your review, here is ClickFunnel’s “Gold Digger” ad campaign.

The Good

  1. Font’s with a background color, “Meet Steve”, really stand out and are easy to read. Because of it, I don’t have to try and interpret text that overlays on a busy work environment – it’s more comfortable to the eye.
  2. The ad is entertaining. The first minute throws us for a loop with the “gold digger”. This then spirals into a call for the American Dream – to be your own boss and make a living for yourself. Additionally, bravo on hitting those social ques (“that’s what they all say”, “90% of Debbie fails”). The gasps, throat clearing, and sound effects were spot on.
  3. The bridge from the intro scene to the boardroom educating the viewers how business has changed over the years was smooth (although not a best practice – more on that below).

Now that I’ve paid my respect to the kind folks at ClickFunnels, it’s time to dig into the mistakes made with this ad.

The Bad

  1. It begins as a brand awareness video, then a research video, then a 4-minute sales video.
  2. The advertisement is over 4 minutes long (I’m willing to bet it has an awful %-watched rating).
  3. ClickFunnels, ClickFunnels, ClickFunnels. They didn’t spend enough time talking about the customer and helping them achieve their goals. Instead it was a 4-minute rant on drilling “ClickFunnels” into the viewers’ head.

That’s it. There wasn’t a lot of bad qualities about the advertisement, but the weight of its mistakes completely destroyed the potential behind this video ad. It’s been about 10 days since first seeing the advertisement and there have been no other variations that have reached me.

A Better Case: Frosted Flakes “The Great!” Campaign

Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes commercials have been making an impact over YouTube this year. As you might recall last year (2016), the Toronto Blue Jays were doing really well in the MLB. The team was trending on Google and fans across Canada were filling pubs, sharing beers, and showing their team spirit. It was then that Kellogg’s launched “The Great!” campaign.

This campaign was very well received and continues to run on YouTube to-date (November 2017). It’s clearly a brand awareness video and doesn’t attempt to sell you Frosted Flakes. Compare this to the ClickFunnels video and it’s night and day.

Summary – Build Campaigns with a Focused CTA

Campaigns aren’t new to the human race. ClickFunnels started this whole jargon trend around “funnels”, but many of their claimed terms and strategies are traditional marketing practices. This leaves me wondering why campaign management is so displaced and foreign in today’s modern digital world. Maybe it’s the millennials coming out of the woodwork and figuring marketing out for the first time. Either way, the truth remains that campaigns work best when a specific type is chosen (for example ‘brand awareness’) and the marketing team stays committed to one CTA at a time.

If you want insight on the sort of metrics and properties you should track for a campaign, Salesforce’s Campaign Field definitions are the most definitive I’ve found.

Ultimately your campaigns should be slotted into your existing CRM system. Use a distinct set of properties and fields to help you load and run more campaigns.

Subscribe to our Blog

Sign up to get notifications of new blog posts we released on our website!