What is Marketing? (updated)
A lot of times when I tell people that I’m a marketing manager, I get responses such as, “Well, what exactly is marketing?” or “Oh, so you do public relations!” or “So you’re in sales?” It’s such a misunderstood business discipline that I wanted to clarify the definition for you. I first wrote a blog post about marketing years ago when I launched the Social Lites blog. But since then, marketing has changed so much. For instance, marketing used to rely more heavily on traditional advertising, events, and promotions. Today, digital marketing has created more facets of marketing- including content marketing, digital analytics, social media advertising, etc. More brands have also become more aware that they way that you stand out from the competition is by communicating why your brand exists and what makes it special. With the rise of social media and its ever-changing algorithms, digital ads and influencer campaigns have become more popular than ever. Influencer campaigns marry word-of-mouth and advertising, by utilizing an influencer’s platform that aligns with their brand, to sell their product or service. Advertising used to be thought of as a separate department from marketing, but now it is more heavily integrated. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
If you Google the definition of marketing, this is what you will see. Marketing is:
“the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.”
And yes, though the word “selling” is in the definition, your marketing manager is not necessarily responsible for sales. Effective marketing can result in sales, but it does not promise sales. I like to think of marketing as the steps and processes that are needed to set your sales team, advertising team, and PR team up for success.
Marketing is about communicating the value of your brand to your audience. Whereas sales is about selling your product or service to the intended customer, marketing is about creating the interest and demand for it, while communicating how your product or service fills a need that they have.
A key part of marketing is differentiating your brand from your competitors and identifying how your brand is positioned in the market. This is where market research comes in (we will go more in detail about this in a later blog post).
Everything that you see from a brand is marketing- from your website, to social media, to advertising, the packaging of a product, events, email communications, to even what I’m doing right now- blogging! Marketing communicates your brand’s value and to your target audience. I have gotten many clients from, first, sharing what I know for free and thus, providing a solution to their problem.
This is an explanation of general marketing but in future blog posts, we will dive into the different ways that your brand can use marketing and how marketing works hand-in-hand with branding, sales, and public relations. If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave it in the comments. If you found this blog post helpful, share it on your socials or send it to a friend. Until next time…