OK, hands up. We’re writing this post for largely selfish reasons. We’re not sure if it’s the New Year air but lots of people are asking us at the moment “what is marketing” and we’ve decided the best answer is some good old fashioned words…

Currently, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), define marketing as:

“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”

Six years ago, following a massive evolution in the practice (digital revolution, triple bottom line, emerging markets etc.), they came up with a new one (which is yet to be agreed):

“[Marketing is] The strategic business function that creates value by stimulating, facilitating and fulfilling customer demand. It does this by building brands, nurturing innovation, developing relationships, creating good customer service and communicating benefits. By operating customer-centrically, marketing brings positive return on investment, satisfies shareholders and stake-holders from business and the community, and contributes to positive behavioural change and a sustainable business future.”

As marketers we read this several times before we understood it so we broke it into bite size chunks that non-marketers will understand:

  • It’s a management practice: it sits alongside finance, HR, operations etc – marketing is NOT advertising (advertising is a function within communications which is itself a function of marketing)
  • It’s about customers: love them or they will leave (forget this at your peril)
  • It’s about money: Like it or not, marketing is about making money. Yes growth needs to be sustainable and yes we need to be ethical, but (good) marketing isn’t about cuddling fluffy bunnies
  • It’s about creating change: getting people to change to your brand, convincing people who want to leave to stay, selling more to the same people, breaking bad habits and starting positive ones
  • It’s about thinking big: it’s not about getting a new brochure, it’s about driving an organisation forward to its strategic objectives

If you’re struggling to cut through the jargon and need a marketing team that speaks plain English, call us now – 01392 877 855.