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Marketing Vs Marketing

Ask anyone to tell you what they believe Marketing is, and the most likely answer that you will get is “Creating ads” … sigh

Look for a job using the words “Marketing” or “Marketing Manager” on Monster or any other job search site, and you most likely will find ads like this one;


I could go on and on giving you examples of the fact that most everybody mixes up ‘Marketing‘ and ‘Marketing Communication‘ (MarCom)!

Don’t take me wrong! I don’t have anything against MarCom! I find that these guys (and girls) are mostly brilliant in their creativity!

But MarCom is only one part of Marketing …

Let’s go back to basics, and see if we can find a definition for ‘Marketing’ …

One cannot try to define the idea of ‘Marketing’ without checking out what Philip Kotler tells us about it:

Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. It is the art of creating genuine customer value.”

So, in his opinion, Marketing is about creating genuine customer value, not (only) creating shiny brochures and engaging websites (I’m being a bit harsh, sorry for that) …

OK, what’s next?

Google is your friend they say, so let’s ask Google.

Here’s what I found following the first result from googling ‘definition of marketing’

Source: Ohio Link

OK, we’re getting closer to the famous 4Ps here so let’s go on and define them.

The Four Ps are (or should be) the foundation to any marketing strategy. Professor E. Jerome McCarthy, from the Harvard Business School, defined them in the early 1960s as; the Product, the Pricing, the Promotion, and the Placement.

  • Product; what product (or service) do the customers want? What are its features? Its benefits? What color? What size? ….
  • Pricing; how much are the customers willing to pay for this product we just defined?
  • Promotion; how will the customers know about our product and its price? What do we tell them? Which communication channel will we use?
  • Placement; how will our product be made available to the customer? Through wich distribution channel?

I know that there’s more to it; a Marketing Plan is much more than defining the 4 Ps, the 4 Ps could be extended to 7 Ps, etc. But these development are not the idea behind this article, which was clarifying the difference between Marketing and Marketing Communication.

MarCom is therefore clearly one of the tools that a Marketeer should use, it is not the whole of Marketing …

So why does everybody keep mixing the two concepts?

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Commentaires (3)


During my …27 years of marketing I had the opportunity to go through various specialized marketing activities: from the famous 4 p’s to e-commerce through the FEDMA (Federation of European Direct Marketing Associations, strategy, operational marketing a well in the Healthcare industry, B2B and B2C. I never found a definition of marketing that could fully satisfy my global idea about a definition and since I gave training courses on Marketing, I needed to define what we were going to work on. So I thought about a definition during the last … 15 years (for your information, 20 years ago, the dicussion went about the question of Sales being part or not of Marketing. In my opinion the answer to this is “yes!”. Reason for that is that people in charge of market surveys, customers needs and competition analysis, market segmentation, SWOT analysis and finaly, based on a/m consideraton will define a strategy, define products specs, actions plans and argumentations, this person should put himself in the shoes of the Salesmen and the Prospects.

To summarize, my definition of marketing is: the Science and global activity that study potential needs of Suspect and Prospects in specific sectors of activities and specific market segments and, based on the outcome of that analysis, taking into account the Competition and the Environment, defines a Strategy, Products or Service Specifications, Tactics and Action Plans including Sales Arguments, Push and/or Pull actions in order to gain optimal market shares, Sales Turnover and Profitability.

I look forward to reading reactions on that definition. Cheers. Gilbert BARTHOLOME

[…] today a great article (in French) in my Google Reader, that goes exactly in the same direction as my little rant on the misuse of the term […]

[…] je le dis souvent, la communication n’est qu’un des aspect, un outil, du Marketing. Il n’y […]

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