What Is Marketing?

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When people think of marketing, they think of the sexy sponsorships, the great advertising and that corporate hospitality – dining out on the company’s account.

But what that addresses is communications, often called marcom or marketing communications and that, actually, is only one small part of marketing.

So if marketing isn’t just communications, what is it?

Marketing is; the process of determining, communicating and delivering value in order to obtain and retain customers.

So if our communication is part of it, what about the rest of the definition?

‘Determining value’ means; working out what you’re going to offer, the scope of it and what you’re going to charge customers.

And finally, ‘Delivering value’ is all about distribution. It’s the way customers are going to be able to access the offer.

Will you be web only?

Will you sell through partners?

Through retail,


That is a marketing decision.

Because so much of marketing is synonymous with business strategy, people don’t even think of it as marketing. After all, while the board of directors, or a business owner, is happy to let Steve or Sheila in the marketing department do some of the tactical communications like a Facebook post or magazine advertising, they’re not going to allow them to come up with the pricing strategy, the scope of the offering and the way it’s distributed on their own.

In fact, a lot of marketing doesn’t happen in marketing departments.

And that’s why, when a business owner says they don’t do any marketing, it’s utter nonsense. Because after all, they’ve determined the price, decided how they’re going to distribute the offering, and they’ve decided what that offering is – all marketing.

That’s why Peter Drucker said, a business enterprise only has two functions; marketing and innovation. It’s only marketing and innovation that produce results. All the rest are costs.

And if you think that this makes most of business about marketing, you’d be right.

There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English

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