The definition of marketing has changed a lot with the changing times.
It didn’t happen solely because the concept of marketing has evolved with time.
Surprisingly, it also happened because the awareness and education of people about marketing have changed a lot with the progression of time.
The definition of marketing has always been treated like a rubberband. People have liked stretching it according to their comfort and coming up with a marketing definition of their own whenever required. Click To Tweet
Some of those marketing definitions are true but they are not complete.
As a matter of fact, they are a part of the bigger marketing picture which many people fail to see.
At the same time, there are also many made-up definitions of marketing that are entirely untrue because those are based on misconceptions and poor knowledge of the subject.
Let’s examine how the definition of marketing has evolved with time, what has changed, and what still remains the same, or whether what you have heard about marketing still stands true or not.
Marketing And Its Branches
- And many other
Marketing Is Not Selling
I still meet many people who think that marketing is selling.
That it’s all about forcefully handing out the business flyers or making cold calls to people to lure them into buying a product.
To answer that, I would quote a statement by one of the biggest management consultants-
What Mr. Drucker is trying to say is that you have to understand your customers so well that the product that you want to offer them fits their needs perfectly and is able to sell itself.
Marketing is about ‘I want to buy this product because it helps me solve my problem.’ and not about ‘You should buy our product because it’s the best.’
In the first case, your product is desirable and your customers want to buy it because it helps them out. In the second case, your product is forced upon the customers.
The most important thing you have to learn about marketing is that marketing isn’t about manipulating a user into buying your product.
It’s also not about pressuring your customers.
Marketing is about understanding your customers, their needs and a deep desire to be able to solve their problems.
When you understand your customers, you know that your product can really help them out.
And when you bring out that solution in front of them, you are able to develop their interest instantly.
Additionally, sales are just a small subset of marketing.
Marketing is made up of various things and sales form a small part of that.
Not the kind of sales that is based on spamming others, but the kind of sales which is there to build customer relationships and increase customer satisfaction.
Marketing Is Not Advertising
Advertising is a very important part of marketing but the two of them are not synonymous.
Without those two, advertising won’t work.
Next time if somebody says marketing is selling and advertising, you know they are saying an incomplete statement.
Evolved definition of marketing encompasses selling, advertising, and many other things.
Few reasons why businesses do marketing because they are interested in
- Increasing brand awareness
- Retaining brand awareness
- Building a brand image
- Improving a brand image
- Bridging the gap between the right set of users and a product
- Educating customers about how a particular product can solve their problems
- Developing their interest in a product
- Creating and delivering values
- Engaging customers
- Building & managing relationships
- Increasing customer satisfaction
And for many other reasons.
What Is The Definition Of Marketing?
Marketing is not selling.
Marketing is not advertising.
Then, what is marketing?
Let’s understand how people have described marketing so far and what actually is the real definition of marketing.
Marketing Definition No. 1
Brand awareness is one of the many goals you can achieve by doing effective marketing. But it’s not the only thing that can be achieved through marketing.
Brand awareness created is not equal to brand awareness retained.
To put it another way, if 100 people know about your brand right now doesn’t mean that those 100 will know your brand even tomorrow.
Obviously, people forget things with time and they need to be reminded about that.
Given these points, we can say that this definition is partially true as an evolved definition of marketing has many functions and brand awareness is one of those.
Marketing Definition No. 2
Even this statement can be termed as partially true.
Marketing aims at not selling a product but helping your product reach the right audience who are in need of your product.
The first part of the above sentence represents ineffective marketing and the second part represents the effective marketing.
Marketing Definition No. 3
Like the other two definitions, this definition also fails to include all the business goals marketing can achieve.
Marketing doesn’t end when you are able to develop the interest of a user in your product. It just starts at that time.
From interesting a customer to building loyalty of that customer towards your brand, marketing is an unending process.
Marketing Definition No. 4 (The Most Accurate One)
What Is Marketing?
This evolved definition covers the two most important parts of any marketing process.
Time to examine those and see if the definition is complete this time or not.
Part 1: Creating value for your customers
The base of any good marketing is a good product.
And the process of making a good product starts when it is driven by the desire of creating value for your customers.
It means that there is a unique set of people somewhere whose problems can be solved by your product.
What exactly does creating value for your customer mean?
Creating value for a customer is a broad term that covers many aspects.
To start with, it is a process without any end. As creating a good product for your customers is just the starting of the customer value creation and delivery process.
In general, you have to remember, whenever you solve customers’ problems, you are adding value to those customers’ lives. And this is what the purpose of marketing is.
When you introduce your product to a market that has a need for it, you are adding value to the lives of people there because you are solving their problems.
Also, when you communicate to your customers how your product can solve their problems, you are creating value because you are making them more educated about an existing issue.
When you deliver on your promises, you are creating value for your customers because you are increasing their satisfaction with your product and about their decision to buy that product from you.
Part 2: Building Customer Relationships
Customer relationship building and management have become more important with the advent of the digital era.
The Internet has brought everyone closer to each other including a company to its customers.
Earlier such kind of relationship was not possible and was mainly limited for the B2B companies. But things have changed drastically now.
Social media keeps everyone connected.
Your customer is just a click away now and this gives you ample opportunities to build relationships with each one of them.
Building relationships is followed by managing relationships.
A good business is no longer measured in terms of its sales but in terms of the customer relationships that it has built.
The two parts, when combined, give us a complete definition of marketing which applies to even the world of the internet.
The right product when combined with the right marketing can create a big change in the world. It doesn’t work if any of those two elements are missing – the right product or the right marketing.
If the product is right but the marketing is not right, the product won’t be able to reach the right audience.
Marketing is an integral part of any business. It’s the plan of your business survival and business growth.
The first step to creating a marketing strategy starts with understanding what marketing is.
What do you think marketing is?
Let us know in the comments.