Definition of Marketing

In my experience one of the main reasons that marketing does not work out as expected is that firms frequently do not have a consistent and agreed definition of what “Marketing” actually is. Unless this agreed definition is in place the Marketing function will not work smoothly and different people in the company with different expectations will be unhappy. This issue is not just limited to one industry.  It’s prevalent in many different organisations that I’ve worked with. It’s why Marketing so often has a bad reputation and is one of the first budgets to cut. 

My definition of Marketing

The definition that I frequently use to start the conversation is: “Marketing is the servant of Sales AND the master of business strategy”. If Marketing is not a key part of setting the overall strategy of the organisation they are limited to very tactical actions which are not joined up and frequently don’t directly support the top level strategy of the organisation. 

It’s easy to spot organisations that haven’t agreed on what Marketing is because the marketing staff they employ tend to young and inexperienced. They focus almost exclusively on all things low cost and digital. If your key competitors operate in this way you have the opportunity to use Marketing much more effectively and take business from them. 

First get the definition of “Marketing” agreed and then build and implement joined up plans that have the sole purpose of helping the organisation achieve their top business objective.


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