It’s common in the restoration industry for an owner or manager to refer to their sales and business development person as their marketing employee. In their eyes, the employee is out there trying to drum up business, talking to potential clients and making handouts. However, there is a clear distinction and difference for both of these roles, and usually, someone asked to do sales who is really a marketing person will not work out and the other way around asking a salesperson to perform marketing tasks. That’s where the trouble can come; an owner investing in one person to do two entirely separate jobs. It’s not necessarily their fault. The truth is there is overlap in the roles given to their sales and business development rep and most restoration companies in the industry run and operate their sales and marketing department the same way, setting a norm in the industry. Let’s break down the differences between sales and marketing and why you should also be investing in marketing for your restoration company.  
Sales & Business Development
Sales and business development is the process of developing a relationship with potential clients who will buy/refer you business, such as insurance agents, plumbers, etc. Account management refers to managing existing relationships; this responsibility is also commonly given to someone in business development. For example, you have an adjuster or insurance agent that will refer you restoration leads. The sales/business development employee’s job is to make sure they are happy and keep sending you more leads. This position we are all familiar with is sales, developing new relationships and managing existing ones.  
Marketing is the act of positioning your brand in a space/audience by creating, communicating and delivering a specific message of value to customers. With marketing, you want to make sure your brand is at the crossroads of every intersection your potential customer and homeowner is at while making a decision. Every customer is different, some may like to make decisions online, some through interpersonal relationships, trusted resources like magazines or online referral sites, social media and many more.
Marketing is much more the act of trying to think about how other people think and what type of information they need in order to make a decision and what factors may influence their decision possibly without them ever knowing.
Roles of Marketing That Restoration Contractors Are Missing
So let’s discuss some roles of marketing that most restoration companies are not focusing on and should be.
  • Print Material - Professionally branded print material that can be used by your sales/business development rep, your estimators and project managers (also salespeople) and other members of your organization.
  • Online Marketing - This is a big category, but the focus here is to position your online presence in front of potential customers. With the entire online web at your marketer’s disposal, your salespeople simply can’t match the reach on a 24/7 basis the web gives to your marketer as a tool. Not only that, with great expertise in this area many areas of the web can automize. Some examples of online marketing are: SEO, PPC, Email Marketing, Social Media, and more. The reach and automated process you can implement here can provide much bigger returns than any salesperson can.
  • Market Research & Reporting - Focus on detailed numbers like closing ratio, lead projection, ROI, and sales forecasting as all are valuable reporting tools and very helpful for the process of strategic planning for an organization.
There are many examples where both sales and marketing need to be on the same page and could possibly create some confusion to restorers. A marketer’s role is to manage the branding (message, colors, imagery, etc.), yet it’s the sales job to manage the relationships. In order to aid in the sales process, it’s common for a salesperson to need marketing material (brochures, case studies, handouts, etc.) and that’s where some of the crossover comes in.
This doesn’t encompass everything marketing can bring to your organization, but if you find yourself as one of the restorer’s who only has a salesperson and may even refer to them as a marketer, you have to ask yourself, what can a marketing department do for my growth?