What’s the Definition of Marketing?

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The title of this post is a question I field often. When I poll a room of small business owners I get lots of different answers, most, more or less, pointing to advertising or other lead generation activities.

To some extent the confusion comes from textbook definitions that don’t translate well to the real world. Here’s one from the Investopedia. The commercial functions involved in transferring goods from producer to consumer. That was helpful wasn’t it?

I like the definition at SmallBusiness.com, a great small business wiki, a little better. In plain and simple terms, marketing activities and strategies result in making products available that satisfy customers while making profits for the companies that offer those products.

But, for the small business, here is the Duct Tape Marketing definition: Getting someone, who has a need, to know, like and trust you. Now, when you have a marketing system in place this expands to – getting someone, who has a need, to know, like, trust, contact and refer you.

Awareness and trust are it for the real world small business and unless you’ve got oodles of cash lying around to buy that through heart warming TV spots, you better get down in the trenches and figure out how to educate, give and build trust.

So, do a small business owner a favor and share this simple definition with them. It just might make marketing a little easier.


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