So, what is marketing, actually?

So many people have so much to say about marketing. Who is right and who is wrong? Well let’s start by looking at the difference between marketing and sales as an activity. Marketing activities find you prospects . . . sales activities convert them to customers. The disciplines are complementary, but require very different skill sets to be effective.

About marketing

Peter Drucker says that marketing is the unique and only function of the company and that the aim of marketing makes selling superfluous. Marketing should understand so well the customer’s needs that the product or service should sell itself. Impossible dream of course. But a great goal to strive for.

Al Ries and Jack Trout call the fourth law of marketing, which says that marketing is not a battle of products, but a battle of perceptions. Yes, absolutely! Research has shown that people make buying decisions 80% of the time on perceptions, rather than actual product or service. However, they will maintain their loyalty on the ongoing level of performance.

Philip Kotler has two visions, one is with a social approach which defines marketing as a process, and the managerial approach, which is the art of selling products through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value. Yep, this as well!

Regis McKenna defines marketing not as a function, but as a way of doing businesses. Totally agree!

McKenna says  it is an activity that should be practiced from the receptionist to senior management, and is an expression of the character of the company. It is company’s responsibility, as a whole. Yes, but 75% of companies don’t do this.

Whether it’s guerrilla marketing, maxi-marketing, marketing of services, relationship marketing, viral marketing, the marketing of niches, or the latest fad marketing . . . it’s all about an attitude of providing customers with something they value, at a price they are prepared to pay.

The challenge for marketers?

Reaching the market who DO have needs . . . they just haven’t recognised it yet! Therein lies the skill of marketing.

More articles on this topic coming soon.


  • Challenging your marketing concept
  • Formulating a strategy
  • Identifying who to target
  • Matching customer needs to product attribute
  • Marketing & sales is a team effort
  • Why marketing plans often fail
  • Simple approach to research as a tool
  • Develop a measurable marketing plan
  • Understand the impact of PESTE factors
  • Identify a clear market gap

On January 6, 2011, posted in: General, Marketing by
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