“I hate marketing,” a friend of mine told me recently.
Despite owning two successful businesses my friend has a vehement distaste for marketing. I’ve found this attitude is quite common amongst small business owners. Many of them think marketing is either sleazy and dishonest, or ineffective and a waste of money.
I think these attitudes arise because there’s a misunderstanding of what marketing is. Hopefully this article will help set the record straight.
Here are six inspirational definitions of marketing from some of the world’s foremost experts on the topic:
1. Authenticity + Value
“Marketing is sharing with authenticity about the value that you offer to the world”.
By Robert Middleton, the creator of InfoGuru marketing.
2. Making the Best Case for Your Product
“My definition of ‘marketing’ is putting your product or service in its best light so that it persuades others to investigate and hopefully buy it.
“I think that marketing is basically a replacement for door-to-door selling. If we could all afford to knock on everyone’s door and put forward the best case for our product then we would, because one-on-one conversation is pretty hard to beat.
“But because that’s not possible, we come up with marketing that will, at the end of the day, be a replacement for what we would have said if we were having a chat.”
3. An End-to-End Process
“Marketing is everything you do to promote your business, from the moment you conceive of it to the point at which customers buy your product or service and begin to patronize your business on a regular basis.
“The key words to remember are everything and regular basis.”
By marketing guru Jay Conrad Levinson from his seminal book Guerrilla Marketing.
4. Making the Sale Easier
“Marketing is everything you do that makes the sale easier.”
By Stephen Fairley, small business coach and author of Getting Started in Personal and Executive Coaching.
5. It’s Not Just About Spending Money
“Marketing is not about spending money on such things as advertising, direct mail and PR. Those are just tools. Marketing is about growing your business – its revenues, profit and valuation.”
By Mark Stevens, from his provocative book Your marketing sucks.
6. The Circle of Marketing
“Marketing is a circle that starts with your idea for generating revenue and completes itself when you have the patronage of repeat and referral business.”
From The Guerrilla Marketing Toolkit by Mitch Meyerson and Jay Conrad Levinson.