What’s the difference between marketing and BD?

What’s the difference between marketing and Business Development?

Hi everybody and welcome to my Wednesday wisdom series. Today I thought I would talk a little bit more around the difference between marketing and business development. 


When it comes to professional services, there is a little bit of a blur between these two types of marketing. Now what I’m about to say is my own personal opinion and I am sure other people might say something slightly different, but for me, marketing sits across everything. So it is the larger brand awareness piece. So for me that would be, you know, the website, social media, blogging videos, all of that kind of stuff. 


Whereas business development, dare I say it, I’m not sure if I do want to say it in my head. Used to symbolize sales, I don’t think that’s synonymous with sales anymore, but the kind of business development activities I’m thinking of are targeting, you know, looking at lists and people are making sure that you’re getting the right people in front of your business, how to pitch, how to coach, partners on pitching, and it’s all of that kind of making sure that the sale actually happens.

They are all on a spectrum

So it’s a spectrum. I always think about it as a kind of marketing communications with I’m doing this marketing communications starts here with the website and the SEO and the blogging and the videos. Then I feel you get to that stage where it becomes an integrated campaign. So you might take something like thought leadership and create lots of content, emails, videos, all of that kind of stuff to gauge interest in a particular topic. And then you have this, Oh my arm’s not quite reaching over here, the business development side of things, which is taking all of that kind of awareness and then trying to create some sort of a sale or interest around particular product or service for your particular practice area. 

I was talking to somebody recently who’s based in Abu Dhabi and he was saying that for them out there, business development is sales, but I think it’s a little bit more than that. And there are a lot of BD professionals out there but have a lot of skillsets. 

So marketing and BD are part of a spectrum and not necessarily the same things. Be interested to hear your thoughts if you work in marketing in professional services and what you see marketing and business development as. Anyway, I hope you found that interesting and I will talk to you next week.

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