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Home In search for the definition of marketing

In search for the definition of marketing


Marketing is a huge topic arousing numerous discussions. Nevertheless, have you ever wondered what is actually the definition of marketing and what it entails? Have you ever wondered what marketing is for you? This term is used practically everywhere. All those business savvies connected somehow to entrepreneurial world, whether online or traditional one, tout all the time that marketing is crucial, and that without marketing companies won’t survive as they won’t record any sales.

We all seem to nod our heads when hearing such statements. But have you ever asked yourself why we agree to it with such certainty? Why the importance of marketing seems so obvious for us while the most of us probably won’t know how to answer the questions such as:

  1. what is the marketing definition?
  2. is marketing the same as advertising? If not – what are the differences?
  3. what are the basic elements of marketing?

At first glance all these questions seem straightforward and easy. However, you should look out as they are tricky and there are no definite answers. Truth being told, marketing is a very evolving area, its elements change on regular basis, and you need to stay up-to-date with trends in order not to be outperformed by competitors. Before we get to details, let’s start with the basics.

Once you read this article you will know:

What is a simple definition of marketing?


Understanding marketing is an enormous topic, which is why there are so many views on its definition, and why you can take a four-year degree in marketing. However, in order to fully understand what is marketing let’s start with a quite simple definition provided by Investopedia:

“Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses”

As you can see, it is not strictly defined what activities marketing entails. Therefore, there is a lot of space for imagination, brand-new ideas and initiatives. The most crucial part is that activities taken (based on solid research and adopting appropriate marketing strategy) assist you in reaching business goals (among which are sales).

Also, from the Investopedia definition you can clearly understand that marketing is not the same as advertising. Advertising is a part of marketing but marketing is a broader term. To put it briefly, advertising is marketing but marketing is not advertising. A little bit twisted but makes sense.

However, over the past few years marketing has been on the lips of every single person related somehow to business world and dozens of marketing gurus have come up with their proper marketing definition.

What are 5 marketing definitions from marketing gurus?

Marketing as a scientific discipline

Dr Philip Kolter, called the father of marketing, defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit”. He also adds that marketing aims at identifying unfulfilled needs and segments on the market that a specific company can serve best.

Therefore, Kotler sees marketing as a scientific discipline which can be studied and implemented reasonably by companies who first should analyse the market they operate on to spot the best marketing strategy for themselves.

Marketing as an appealing story

Jeff Cutler, Executive VP and GM at Vitalscom, refers to marketing as the way you tell your story in order to appeal to customers, investors, partners, employees or any other people your business interacts with. According to Cutler, marketing is a method of interaction with your brand and it’s not only first impression, but also the last, as well as everything between them.

Cutler’s definition of marketing is more descriptive and conceptual than the scientific one provided by Kotler. It emphasizes the importance of the story behind your product or service that you take advantage of to entice consumers to purchase from you.

Marketing is education and engagement

Shennandoah Diaz, President and Master of Mayhem, from Brass Knuckles Media, understands marketing as a domain that exclusively connects with customers, and little with the service provider. Diaz underlines engagement and education of customers by marketing activities that also come up with satisfying their needs.

Therefore, this marketing definition focuses specifically on customers – how marketing engages and educates them by providing value and a possibility to satisfy audience needs. These are customers who matter, and service providers are seen as second players only.

Marketing as communication

Antoine Didienne perceives marketing as involvement in outward communication that promotes corporate goals of businesses. It should be understood as a process enabling companies to speed up revenue by aligning all communication goals into one single department, and consequently reach organizations’ goals in a more efficient way.

This marketing definition emphasizes on the fact that marketing should be seen as a form of communication that accelerates the decision-making process and allows companies to achieve corporate goals quicker and better.

Marketing is art

On the other hand, Max Kalehoff, VP of Marketing in Clickable, states that marketing is both the art and science of constructing, amusing and retaining customers while recording revenue and increasing business values. According to Kalehoff, marketing is a field that, both formally and informally, integrates several disciplines and organization functions. He also stresses that marketing should follow the best ethical standards, respect the environment, and try to make the world a better place.

As you can see, this marketing definition, is quite an unconventional one as it partially presents marketing as a science while also seeing it as a craft. What is also interesting is that it underlines that marketing should include CSR activities and bring exemplary values to the world.

How to understand marketing?

Truth being told, all the above definitions are right. Since marketing is such an enormous topic, no wonder that such a significant number of definitions have been created. Everybody is able to, more or less, elaborate on their proper definition of marketing as it can slightly differ depending on the type of business and the market it operates on.

However, what needs to be underlined is the fact that generally marketing as a discipline involves all the activities undertaken in order to attract customers and to maintain relationship with them. You can consider it a scientific discipline with given rules and best practices. You can also treat it as an art or a form of communication with your leads. Or you can perceive it as telling your audience stories.

Whichever marketing definition seems the most appealing to you, the essence of marketing is taking appropriate actions to generate customers and to inspire trust for you business and brand.

Marketing can take many different forms and take advantage of numerous channels:

  • online marketing campaigns (for example, Facebook or Google Ads or alternatives),
  • creating videos on Youtube,
  • implementing email marketing and sending messages to your leads on regular basis,
  • creating a marketing funnel starting on your landing page (built with an assistance from Landingi or not),
  • organising sport events with your potential customers,
  • inviting your target audience for coffee.


The above examples are just the tip of the iceberg, as the number of marketing initiatives is endless. No wonder all marketers try to outperform each other with better ideas. It is all about creativity and knowing your audience, and there are no limits when it comes to marketing. If it works, it means it is right.

As you can see, marketing can be understood in many different ways. It can be science, art, communication, engagement or education. The most crucial part of marketing definition is attracting customers into purchasing your products or services and inspiring trust. Once you focus your marketing actions on these goals and succeed, you can be sure you are doing it right.

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Kasia Hajok

Content Specialist

Kasia Hajok is a content expert with over 2 years of experience in digital marketing. Passionate writer, creator, and book lover.
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