A Conversation for Marketing


Post 1


The definition of marketing by T Suntor is at best, rather misleading and at worst, very poor. Speaking as a professional marketer of 15 years standing, with experience in brand management, advertising and promotions in both UK and overseas - no modern business academic or practitioner would support your definition or explaination. You cover some areas of marketing communications, but that is all.

There are many different formal definitions of marketing and I do not think it is useful to repeating these here. I would recommend readers source the formally recognised marketing tomes by Kotler, Porter, Ries & Trout, etc to obtain these. Or, visit the formal marketing organisations, Marketing Society, Institute of Marketing, etc.

However, the most succinct definition of the marketing process I obtained from a American Marketing Director I recently worked with: 'Marketing is the process of serving customers profitably'.

That's it.

I personally have always stressed the business activity of 'understanding needs and developing and managing the delivery of products to satisfy consumer demand'.By way of example, I work in a large marketing department of a FTSE100 media company, with approximatley 130 staff. Within this team can be found the full range of marketing disciplines. So, to understand what 'marketing' is, here is what we do all day ...

Research - understanding markets, competition, prices, sales & trends
Data / segmentation - identification / understanding of consumer groups
Product Management - production + new product development & innovation
Strategy - directing our focus re: product development, brand, promotion
Sales Support- planning information to support our sales teams
Communications - advertising, Direct Marketing, PR, Publicity

Traditional classic marketing looks at focusing on the P's:
Product > Price > Place > Promotion >

More recently this has often been expressed by the 'C's:
Consumer > Channels > Costs > Communication > Community
The difference is that this is far more externally focused ...

However, with the rise of e-commerce, fragmented media and consumers having vast amoung of choice, a lot of modern marketing thought has now shifted towards the F's (!) > Function > Form > Fast > Fun > Fashionable > Family (in this def' 'family' means brand extensions)

As examples, many marketers look to the rise of modern challenger brands such as Samsung, Mazda, King of Shaves, Innocent Smoothies, Dyson - who have managed to develop substantial market success, not through loads of advertising and promotion , but from having massive design expertise, product superiority and detailed customer insights.

In other words, modern consumers will ignore your fab tv ads and on-pack promotions - if your product is not super reliable, briliantly designed and fits right in with their busy lives. Thus, Rover could spend as much as they like on tv and promotions, but the fact was the gearbox in the MG was crap, wheras the Japanese sports cars just go, and go, and go, and go.

The 80's was all about advertising. The 90's about competitive advantage and the rise of e-commerce. The Nougties seems to be developing as the decade of the product.

Tied into all of this is the broader sociological debates re consumers loosing trust in brands, decline in loyalty, busy lifestyles, international mega-brands, the brand of 'me'

But that is another story...

Dsmiley - winkeye

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