Recently, at a discovery meeting, I was asked by a potential client, “what is your definition of marketing?” I was a little surprised by the question. I didn’t know if this was a test or whether this person really wanted to know the answer to the question.

The answer I gave was something like this. . “Well, to me, marketing is everything you do for your business, including advertising, where the goal is to get people to spend their money on what you offer.” We then went on to discuss branding and top-of-mind awareness and other things related to messaging, but it got me thinking: Is it possible to have one concise definition of “marketing”?

So I did some research and here is what I found:

The Oxford Dictionary defines it like this:

Noun: marketing

the activity or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Verb: market

gerund or present participle: marketing

advertise or promote (something).

With that in mind, I’d say I was close. But on further inspection and a quick google search, it appears that marketing is usually defined by the role of the person who is doing the defining.

To sum it all up, there isn’t just one definition. For proof, here is a link to an article that included 72 definitions of marketing. As you will see, each has a little different spin but all in all, when you boil it down, I think the dictionary’s version cuts to the heart.