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A New Definition of Marketing

Marketing Puzzle GraphicEven among business pros with many years of experience under their belts, there is a surprising amount of confusion about what marketing really is. Many think that marketing is the same as advertising, or that marketers and salespeople are just different terms for the same thing. Not so!

This post is very simple. It’s just a definition, but I want you to really take it to heart and internalize it.

Think about it whenever you have a marketing decision to make. This is more than just a definition. It is a guiding principle. It’s not earth shattering, but it is a little bit different than other marketing definitions.

So without further ado, here it is:

Marketing is a set of strategies and tactics that facilitates the exchange of value between a business and its customers.

Notice a few items in this definition if you will. Marketing is a set of strategies and tactics. Not a single thing like advertising. Any strategy or tactic in isolation is typically only a small part of the picture and often ineffective unless combined with other strategies and tactics. In all my interactions with clients, I continue to emphasize this holistic approach…looking at the whole picture before shooting off in one direction.

Notice also that I said both strategies and tactics. There is a hierarchy here. Tactics (like advertising) that are not backed up by strategy are without foundation and will just waste your time and money.

Also notice that I used the term “exchange of value,” not money or sales. Of course sales are a major goal of your marketing, but it is not the only goal.

That’s it! Simple, right? Read it a few times. Repeat it to yourself. Write it down. Post it on your wall.

Want to learn more? Check out Holistic Marketing in the Digital Age

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