How do you define marketing?

Marketing is one of those things that’s difficult to define. It doesn’t seem to have a definition everyone will agree to, at least according to most popular dictionaries.

For example, one dictionary defined marketing as the act or process of seldictionary9ling or purchasing in a market, the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.

Or how about this one: Marketing is an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer.

Here’s one more: The total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.

That’s the way dictionaries explain it. And I suppose they’re okay. But when you walk up to people on the street and ask them to define marketing, you get very different definitions. Marketing is selling. Marketing is advertising. Marketing is promoting a product or service.

You can (or perhaps can’t) appreciate the dilemma I faced when I was writing How to Close More Business in Less Time. That’s why I created my own definition. But I didn’t define marketing, per se, but something I called good marketing as any activity that speeds, shortens, streamlines, or favorably influences the outcome of their sales process.

That definition worked and continues to work for me because I believe it is critically important for businesses to integrate marketing with the sales process, and because I believe the fundamental role of marketing is to directly support the sales process.

But I am curious and I wonder if it would be possible to come up with a definition we’d all agree to.

So I’ll ask again, how you define marketing?

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