When I went looking for a precise marketing definition, I couldn't find just one answer. I had thought the search should be rather simple.
For instance, some people say you are not marketing unless you are generating leads. But marketing is much more.
In reality, different business practitioners have their own definitions, depending on their position in the marketplace.
Today, industry observers are saying that marketing has changed, "it's the customer who is in charge". That places even more emphasis on sellers to craft their messages so potential buyers can find them.
It's an "inbound" process where they find you as compared to an "outreach" process where you find them. My opinion? Both are relevant and need to be considered.
Each of my clients sees marketing definitions from their own viewpoints and needs.
Here is one of my favorite explanations:
"Marketing is all those factors which go into the sale of a product or service such as price, distribution, wholesale and retail support, plus advertising and promotion," says Don E. Schultz in his book Essentials of Advertising Strategy.
With more words, but in a similar inclusive tone:
"Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, services, organizations, and events to create and maintain relationships that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives." in Contemporary Marketing Wired (1998) by Boone and Kurtz. Dryden Press.
The American Marketing Association studied the issue and released their definition of marketing in 2017:
"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for
creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have
value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."
Are you familiar with permission marketing? viral marketing? direct marketing? direct response marketing? data base marketing? multi-level marketing?
Today, there are so many terms and sub industries in the marketing field, it is really hard for anyone to keep up. All this is enough to make your head spin in bewilderment.
Thank goodness, as a small business you don't need to know it all.
You would be well served to think about the marketing strategy you are going to use to reach your customers before you get involved with the day-to-day tactics.
In the beginning discussion of marketing, many business owners tend to gloss over the big strategic viewpoint. They'll talk more about individual tactics, perhaps not realizing that the big picture should come first.
So try to adapt and apply a marketing definition relevant to your business situation.
Writing it down and then implementing your own overall marketing strategy will put you on a faster and more direct path to success.