Wed, May 23 2007

Inside baseball: what is marketing?

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Lovely Marketing Diva Toby has a post that really gets me.  Check this out:

The American Marketing Association is writing a new definition of “what is marketing.”

Draft new definition:  “Marketing is the activity, conducted by organizations and individuals, that operates through a set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging market offerings that have value for customers, clients, marketers, and society at large.”

Say whaaaat?  Thanks Toby for flagging this.  That sentence is pretty awful, quite obtuse and very academic.  Can’t we as marketers explain what we do? In an understandable way?  Can’t we walk our talk?

I don’t want to be too hard on this draft definition, because I’ve been there.  I’ve found myself in the past unable to write about things I’m too close to.  I once had to hire a writer to create my firm’s brochure, because what I did was far too “inside baseball.”  Meaning, too focused on the details only an insider could love and not enough on what the audience wanted to know.  When I worked at Reuters and wrote a story that got too “inside baseball,” my editors would admonish me.  It was always a sign I’d been in a country too long. 

Do you get too “inside baseball?”  Do you end up speaking doglish?  I empathize.  And I encourage you to fight it as a marketer.  I have to myself, everyday, in all that I do.

And, for what it’s worth, I think marketing is simply getting someone to buy what you’re selling.


  • Comment: (3)   


Katya - thanks for your kind words. Several years ago I heard Kotler speak and have always kept his definition of marketing top of mind. “Marketing is meeting the needs of your customer at a profit.”  (Even non profits must define what “profit” is to the organization.) Simple but if you take the pieces apart .. very powerful.

Posted by Toby  on  05/30  at  11:25 PM

I have checked the new draft definition of marketing posted in this article and was really interesting. I think I too am like you and I get “inside baseball”. It’s really difficult for me to write something about the things that are close to me as I always mention its good things alone. I know, being a marketer, I have to fight it. This post has given me the encouragement that I required and I promise you that I will definitely fight hard to stop ending up speaking doglish.

Posted by social media marketing  on  10/13  at  03:39 PM

Coming from a marketer who works in the non-profit side of things, I would concur that non-profits still have to determine their ‘profit’ to their particular organizations. There is room to compete and market in our space digitally, although it is getting a bit crowded.

Posted by Todd  on  12/14  at  07:00 PM

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