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What is the Definition of Marketing?

What Does the Word, “Marketing”, Actually mean?

A recent “Linked In” discussion, addressing the definition of ‘marketing’, generated more than 2,600 heated replies debating the difference between sales and marketing. Even executives with a “Marketing Manager” title seemed confused… so what is marketing?

The Definition of Marketing

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” – American Marketing Association Board of Directors (October 2007)

…. or more simply, “The management of exchange” – School of Marketing, UNSW (Mar 1982)

Why is there confusion over the Definition of Marketing?

Even extremely capable sales & marketing executives don’t understand the varying functions within marketing management, that THERE ARE FOUR, DISTINCT, LEVELS OF MARKETING.

Understanding the Definition of Marketing means recognising four levels of marketing function…

Many people, working in professional marketing capacities, don’t really understand the word marketing, but do not need to, in order to do a great job.

Administrative Marketing people and Operational Marketing Managers keep your daily business humming. With years on hands-on experience, their routine marketing management activities are key to smooth operational marketing performance.

These gems do NOT need to know the definition of marketing, because they operationally manage a limited field, such as sales, advertising, promotions, print collateral, merchandising, packaging, etc.

But, to catapult a business into new heights of performance, Managerial Marketing & Corporate (Strategic) marketing experts DO know how to find new realms of possibility.

The dangerous ground occurs when great marketing people are expected to operate beyond their field of expertise or competency, sometimes not knowing how much they don’t know.

Advanced understanding of sophisticated brand management strategies, marketing models, and marketing methods builds and maintains sustainable competitive advantage.

When you use the marketing input of highly trained marketing experts, at the highest level of management, improved marketing management flows down into all levels of marketing activity… increasing your business efficiency and return on equity.


The 8 P’s of Marketing

Ask anyone who has studied ‘marketing’ and you’ll usually find a basic definition is the management of the “marketing mix” of PRICE, PROMOTION, PRODUCT & PLACE.

More sophisticated marketing experts include PEOPLE and PROCESSES as the 5th and 6th P’s of Marketing.

The 7th “P”, PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, was originally identified to deal specifically with the marketing of services. For example, where no real way of judging the quality of the product exists, perceptual reinforcement comes to play in buying decisions, such as an expensive and well-designed foyer might be the crucial consistent factor in buyers’ decision making in selecting an advertising agency, an accounting firm, or a legal practice.

However, the principle can be extended to all industries… in FMCG we promote “Packaging” as the 7th “P”… the perception it creates being so significant in point-of purchase evaluation. In some industries, the 7th “P” is better thought of in terms of “Positioning”.

As for the 8th “P”, larger companies have accepted significance of POLITICS… politely coined “Organisational Behaviour” in some circles… if you can’t play the politics, even the best marketing plan can be “white-anted” by destructive ‘political’ agenda.

No marketing plan can work without an internal marketing component that addresses ALL stakeholders… which is why the 8th “P” of Marketing is the lynchpin.

Using a Better Understanding of what “Marketing” is, to Improve Bottom-line Profits

Business schools around the world have developed commercially sophisticated methods to manage all the elements of the 8 “P’s” of Marketing. You can too!

If you want to embrace the ‘science’ in Marketing, or train your people to be better marketers, call 02 80-114355 now, or click this button.


11 Roles of Marketing, sent to us anonymously, is great ‘food for thought”…

The role of marketing is being elevated as we become recognized revenue contributors and key business leaders. As we embrace this new found affluence these are 11 vital concepts needed to ensure this stature.

  1. Marketing is now more science than art, delivering business outcomes & showing return on investment.
  2. Valuable marketing assets are imperative to nurture & educate prospects along their own buying cycle.
  3. Sales needs marketing to increase qualified leads, & marketing needs sales to drive sales growth.
  4. Segmentation, along with automation, is key to customer personalisation.
  5. Include industry influencers, enthusiasts, thought leaders and innovators, advocates, bloggers in the marketing plan.
  6. A CMOs main job is to proactively listen to become the CLO Chief Listening Officer… to think like a customer.
  7. Skill of a manager must keep pace with changing digital marketing tools, technologies, platforms, conversations, networks, strategies & tactics, etc.
  8. People now have publishing control to participate in content creation providing the ability to profoundly impact decisions of their peers.
  9. Marketing departments must evolve from broadcasting messages to people-inspired conversations, fulfilling precious insights & entrusted meaningful influence.
  10. Organizational structures must reflect real-time proactive engagement because marketing is always in play.
  11. Empathic listening & authenticity is the ‘E ticket’ to a sincere and prosperous relationship with people who trust and are loyally engaged to a brand.

Businesses can’t afford to ignore implementing these ideas or competitors will rise because the marketplace will demand them.

Are You Sure Your Marketing is World Class?

If you have read this far, you may want to talk with someone who can assist you to squeeze more from your Marketing… Why not get started now… Just email us by clicking this button or fill out this form and a consultant will get back to you ASAP. Remember, “Procrastination is the thief of time” and the sooner you know which direction you are going in, the sooner you’ll achieve your goals!

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