What is Marketing? Better Yet, What is it NOT?

by Jennifer Beever

What is MarketingSometimes I’m surprised that people ask the question, “What is Marketing?” Here are some of my favorite definitions and distinctions about what marketing does.

One way to begin to answer this question is to ask, “What is marketing not?” Marketing is not graphic design, advertising, PR or sales.

Blog entry excerpted from the Marketing chapter of The Book on Business from A to Z

Blog entry excerpted from Jennifer Beever's Marketing chapter in The Book on Business from A to Z

A good distinction between sales and marketing is that marketing makes your phone ring, your email in-box fill up and helps engage customers in the buying cycle. Sales closes deals.

Done well, marketing can impact not only new customer sales, but also existing customer sales, wallet share (the amount of revenue you get from each customer) and employee attitude and retention rate. According to Philip Kotler, author of the popular textbook Marketing Management:

“Marketing is the business function that identifies unfulfilled needs and wants, defines and measures their magnitude, determines which target markets the organization can best serve, decides on appropriate products, services, and programs to serve these markets, and calls upon everyone in the organization to ‘think and serve the customer.”

Mike Schultz and John Doerr, authors of the book Professional Services Marketing, state that marketing has the ability to “engage potential customers, increase the close rate, increase revenue and increase affinity with employees.”

What’s your definition of marketing? Does it differ from the viewpoints above?

Photo from Flickr – Attribution Some rights reserved by eblaser


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