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What is Marketing?

What is marketing?

By Chuck Groot

At its basic level, marketing is about determining the value of your product or service and communicating that information to customers.

A little higher level given by the Business Dictionary is:

The management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the coordination of four elements called the 4 P's of marketing:
(1) identification, selection and development of a product,

(2) determination of its price,

(3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer's place, and

(4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy.

For example, new Apple products are developed to include improved applications and systems, are set at different prices depending on how much capability the customer desires, and are sold in places where other Apple products are sold.

To get into marketing, it helps to understand what exactly marketing is.  So here are 10 experts’ definitions of marketing, plus for good measure my reactions to the strengths and weaknesses of their definitions.

  1. “Marketing is the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business development.  It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.”  — Wikipedia

I like how this is so focused on both the strategic and functional aspects of marketing, but especially that it’s so customer-focused – the word customer is in it three times, more than any other word! 

  1. “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 

This definition took the AMA years of debate to create.  It is a very comprehensive, yet concise definition, encompassing the product development, marketing communications, pricing, and strategic aspects of marketing. 

  1. “Marketing is everything.” — Regis McKenna 

Regis McKenna’s bold statement exemplifies the school of thought that everything you do – not just your products, pricing, promotion, and distribution, but even your billing, how you answer the phone, your speed of handling problems –it all affects how your customer perceives your company, so everything is marketing. 

  1. “Marketing is not only much broader than selling; it is not a specialized activity at all.  It encompasses the entire business.  It is the whole business seen from the point of view of the final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view.  Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise.” — Peter Drucker 

Management guru Drucker also advocates that marketing is everything, plus he provides reasons to back it up.

  1. “Marketing is the social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.” — Philip Kotler 

This is more of an old-school, college-professor definition, which while accurate, is fairly cold.  I think the “social process” part diverts attention from the business side, and “individuals” sounds more clinical than “customers” which is the gold standard in many of these definitions. 

  1.  “Marketing is the process whereby society, to supply its consumption needs, evolves distributive systems composed of participants, who, interacting under constraints – technical (economic) and ethical (social) – create the transactions or flows which resolve market separations and result in exchange and consumption.” – Bartles 

This is even more a college-professor definition.  The idea of society evolving distributive systems seems to take the shine off of the inventiveness and initiative of individual marketers. 

  1. “Marketing is any contact that your business has with anyone who isn’t a part of your business. Marketing is also the truth made fascinating. Marketing is the art of getting people to change their minds.  Marketing is an opportunity for you to earn profits with your business, a chance to cooperate with other businesses in your community or your industry and a process of building lasting relationships.” — Jay Conrad Levinson 

This is just part of a passionate rant by Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerilla Marketing fame, which highlights the role of persuasion in marketing. 

  1. “Marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like and trust you.” — Jon Jantsch (of Duct Tape Marketing fame) 

Jantsch’s definition also picks up on Levinson’s theme of persuasion, at an even more personal level than Levinson. 

  1. Marketing is “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” — The Chartered Institute of Marketing 

I like how the CIM’s definition is so concise and yet so all-encompassing, and how marketing’s job is to take care of the customer, while making a buck, too.

  1. “Marketing is the process of anticipating, managing, and satisfying the demand for products, services, and ideas.” — Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania 

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- An increase in productivity (by 53%)

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- Increased retention of senior people (by 32%)

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- Increased bottom line profitability (by 22%)

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(Source: Manchester Review, 2001, Vol. 6, 1; and Executive Coaching - With Returns A CFO Could Love, Fortune Magazine February 19, 2001)

58% of organizations say they have increased their use of coaching in the past year. They say it helps:

• Increase revenue and profits

• Learn specific marketing and business skills

• Extend reach and find new customers

• Craft a cohesive action plan for growing your business

• Boost clarity about your business vision and big projects

What is stopping you?

There comes a point in time when you realize you can’t do everything or know everything and need advice. Particularly – impartial, outside advice from people who have been there!

If you keep trying to do it yourself, asking the same people the same old questions; you are going to get the same tired answers.

Do these nagging questions sound familiar:

1. What can I do to get more customers, clients or patients?

2. How can I make more money?

3. How can I use social media effectively and cheaply?

4. How can I increase cash flow?

5. I put in so many hours and I am bagged – what can I do?

6. What can I do to motivate my employees and keep them happy?

7. My overhead is killing me, what’s the answer?

8. I just don’t have enough time to do what I need to do, help?

9. How can I go from working in the business to working on the business?

10. Marketing and advertising, there is so much out there and it is so expensive, what’s the best use of my money?

Well you are not alone. My team went out and talked to business owners and over 85% of all business owners ask the same questions.

At first glance, it might seem as if only a struggling business would hire the services of a professional business coach. But we can do a great deal more for successful businesses and individuals, we can bring you to the next level.

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. 

By having a "Sober Source of Second Thought" you will make fewer costly mistakes. Imagine what it would be like to have an advocate to test your company decisions. Having been where you want to be I become your third eye because I have learned by experience and coached others in similar situations and know what it takes to get where you are going.

You will make more money because you are focused on success. When you are actively involved in making your life what you want it to be, you will naturally attract what you desire. Life becomes less of an effort and more of a success when you have effective business coaching.

Why wait? Let's work together to create an easier and brighter life for you - guaranteed.

That’s right – I guarantee your results 100% for both companies and individuals!

Yours in Health, Happiness, and Success!

Your Friend and Coach,

Chuck Groot CPA,MPA,MBA



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