What Is Marketing?


The goal of marketing? To sell more stuff to more people more often for more money.*

It’s that simple. And this holds true whether we’re talking advertising, package design, client communications, brand management, or user manuals. Any point of contact your customers or clients have with your company (or organization) is part of your ‘marketing.’

This definition is true for giant multinationals like ExxonMobil and Apple, and it’s just as true for the smallest of just-opened Mom & Pop shops.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) game’ the ‘sell more’ idea should be the standard against which you measure your marketing efforts.

Keeping the ‘sell more’ idea in mind makes it easier to understand why I say ‘everything is marketing.’ If your product packaging is hard to open, has instructions that read like they were translated from English to Chinese then back to English, and doesn’t have a link to a website with more info and maybe even a video demonstration — well, I’m not likely to buy from you again.

A restaurant that doesn’t smell delicious when you walk in doesn’t get the ‘sell more’ idea. If its customers have to hunt someone down to pay their bill, it’s not getting the ‘sell more’ idea. If their wait staff doesn’t upsell — they’re just not getting the ‘sell more’ idea.

If you’re a manufacturer of widgets and your sales come from a distributor network and you don’t provide them with online sales and marketing tools, you’re losing more sales, more often.

A business services company that doesn’t have a strong brand identity is missing a chance to sell more by being easy for their clients to recommend to peers’ and if its brand message is muddled or uninspiring, it’s missing the opportunity to sell more to more people.

This ‘sell more’ idea will be the core of my upcoming marketing articles for the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce. After all, if marketing doesn’t support commerce (buying and selling), what good is it?

This article originally appeared in the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce “Wednesday Wisdom” e-newsletter.

Dean La Velle handles Business Development for Rokusek Design, a national, regional, and local marketing firm headquartered in Quincy, Illinois.

*Sergio Zyman, former VP of marketing at Coca-Cola, has spoken to this often’ of course, Mr. Zyman was the man behind New Coke. But still, his definition is right on.