Many times, the terms “Marketing” and “Business Development” get interchanged and very few know the difference. These are two interrelated functions that feed off each other but are not the same thing.
“Business Development” is a component of marketing, the process of identifying clients and opportunities, developing relationships, and securing profitable work for the firm.
Why is this important? Because marketing is the driving force which creates strategy and executes a mission to help make a company productive and profitable. Marketing is a business-centric activity. As such, the marketing team is typically a specific and identifiable group of people whose sole job function is directly tied to marketing tasks.
Business development is a function under the umbrella of marketing. While there may or may not be dedicated employees to the business development function, everyone who has any client-facing responsibility participates in business development. There are dedicated employees to business development, which occupies nearly all their time and energy. These full-time business development professionals’ primary function is to create opportunities and open doors for business. The business development role of nurturing client relationships and closing deals falls to the Project Managers and Leaders of the firm. While business development and marketing professionals assist in nurturing or closing deals, these are best accomplished by those who are performing the engineering tasks and managing projects.
You play a pivotal role in the success of driving business for your company. All your client interactions are marketing and business development. Every phone conversation, email and meeting are contributing to your firm’s brand, driving future business opportunities, fulfilling or discovering client expectations, nurturing relationships and so on.
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Gabe Lett, FSMPS, CPSM, LPC