Another stab at defining marketing

A few weeks ago I asked for some help in whipping up a definition of marketing.  What ensued was a good online brainstorm.  That discussion helped me formulate this working definition of marketing, which I used for my MSI talk (a copy of which will be posted here soon):

identifying desirable experiences, then delivering them

It’s not a bad definition, but not as good as the one I found recently at the HBS Marketing Unit department page:

Marketers concern themselves with acquiring and retaining customers,
who are the lifeblood of an organization. They attract customers by
learning about potential needs, helping to develop products that
customers want, creating awareness, and communicating benefits; they
retain them by ensuring that they get good value, appropriate service,
and a stream of future products. The marketing function not only
communicates to the customer, but also communicates the needs of the
customer to the company. In addition, it arranges and monitors the
distribution of products and/or services from company to customer.

I think that’s it.  Should have started there.

4 thoughts on “Another stab at defining marketing

  1. I think it was Seth Godin who defined marketing as “getting customers to know, like, and trust you”.
    Sure you could re-write that with phrases like “creating awareness”, “ensuring they get good value”, and “monitors the distribution of products” . . . but I like the simple version.

  2. I prefer this one:
    “marketing (management) is the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering and communicating superior customer value.”
    form Kotler/Keller Marketing Management

  3. I think most textbook definitions of marketing are outdated as they rooted in the 50’s and 60’s ideas of marketing.
    They still look at is as a one-way message, but nowadays the customer is involved in your message. What they say on Yelp or YouTube is part of your marketing mix and I think alot of managers are still fighting for control instead of embracing and empowering them.
    I think the marketers that “get it” are the ones giving up some control and instead seeding the “rules” of how their brand should be talked about.

  4. The Definery

    Diego Rodriguez, a partner at IDEO, endeavored to define marketing recently. He came up with a short version: Identifying desirable experiences, then delivering them. And a longer one from Harvard Business School: Marketers concern themselves with acqu…

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