What Isn't Marketing?

Last week one of my clients asked me, “what is marketing?” It’s a great question and one that I get asked a lot. Marketing is one of those terms that means different things to different people. However, I think a better question is, “what isn't marketing?”

Marketing is Everything
One of the best books that I've read recently is called Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. They point out that marketing encompasses just about every aspect of your business. Here's a little excerpt from the chapter Everything is Marketing:

  • Every time you answer the phone is marketing.
  • Every time you send an email is marketing.
  • Every time someone uses your product is marketing.
  • Every word you write on your website is marketing.
  • If you have built a software then every error message is marketing.
  • If you are in the restaurant business then the after dinner mint is marketing.
  • If you are in the retail business, the checkout counter is marketing.
  • If you are in the service business, your invoice is marketing.


Your Market is a Person
“Market” is also a term that means different of things to different people. But if you strip away all of the buzz words and hype, your market is simply a person. No more, no less. If you see your market as a person, and your target market as the specific person that you want to attract and retain, then every time that person comes into contact with your business - it’s marketing.

So, what is Marketing?
Marketing is therefore; every contact, communication and experience that your target “person” has with your business. That’s it. Everything else is buzz and hype.