The differences between the results-driven marketing and sales departments

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My name is Nicole. I have been working as a trainee here at RB in Brazil since July 2009. Being a trainee at RB is something really different from any other job I had before and completely different from the trainee programs in other big companies. This is mainly because our graduate program gives you exposure to two departments: marketing and sales/trade. Right from the start of your assignment you have responsibility and ownership of complex projects.

I have started in the sales department where I had to deliver 3 main projects in a period of six months:
1) build stronger partnership with golden stores attended by the indirect channel,
2) develop a tool to measure clients sell out and stock and finally
3) the Pharma GTM (Go To Market plan), for the brands which are not launched, yet.
Three strategically very important projects which had to be attractive for our sales team as well as our clients, but of course the client is always the king.

Last month I started working in the marketing department and I am responsible for future launches of RB products. Also strategically important but in this case what matters most are our consumers and what they think or feel about our products. In the marketing department you are also responsible for the financials of your brand: the product GM (Gross Margin) and everything that impacts the cost of the product needs to be managed and tracked.

Besides these differences both departments have also other specific characteristics. For example: the results in sales are very short term driven and you have monthly targets to achieve and are constantly evaluated. In marketing you tend to have longer term targets and in some cases you start to see first results after one year. Another clear difference between both areas is that most of decisions in marketing are made based on researches and official reports such as Nielsen, whereas in sales sometimes – because it is so difficult to measure results in the trade (one of the main reasons for it is that the market is too big, in Brazil we have more than 400.00 stores) – some decisions are made based on not only quantitative data (Nielsen), but also on more qualitative data delivered from our field team.

Clearly, there are much more differences between both areas but I believe those are the most important ones. All in all, having the opportunity to work on both sides is really good and important for one’s career. At the end of the program you will get a 360° view of the commercial area and the most important parts of the business. I can only recommend to joining RB´s trainee program.

There is lots of information and insights about our programs on the RB graduate jobs site.

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