Marketing—a field and practice that everyone has heard of and talks about, but few people know how to define it.
It’s typical to hear people comment on the shift from ‘traditional’ marketing to ‘new-age’ or digital marketing. Marketings' impact on the world is so prevalent and recognized that people who haven't ever marketed a day in their lives have such confidence in their understanding (and sometimes their ability)—words roll off their tongues with ease as they talk about it.
While, often, there’s truth interwoven into the popular public views surrounding marketing, they rarely capture the whole story. So all of this begs one question:
What in the world is marketing?
We explored this exact question in our 2019 blog, The Human Side of Marketing, where THuS Marketing + Branding’s President + Chief Messaging Officer, Nona Phinn, described marketing as the platform and communication channel that allows an organization to present itself to the public.
“No matter your reason for being in business, no matter the kind of business you're in, you're serving human beings,” said Phinn. When she created THuS Marketing, Phinn coined the phrase ‘the human side of marketing’ which is a driving force behind all the work we do. It focuses on the human connections you form through marketing and calls for you to learn about the individual behind the data, the reason behind the sales. It goes beyond the bottom line extending to the "why" behind the sales, and the "who" behind the audience.
Public opinions on marketing are accurate and inaccurate at the same time because people tend to define marketing based on how it's done rather than what it is. Marketing methods evolve and adapt to fit the changing world, but what goes into the practice of marketing always stays the same.
The reason for this is simple: marketing is timeless.
How you market changes but why you market doesn’t. Whether you’re sending off individual handwritten letters or reaching an audience of thousands through an email blast sent off by clicking a button, your goal is achieved through the same process.
No matter if you’re marketing now, 20 years ago, or you’re planning for a future career in marketing, what goes into it has stayed the same and always will. Marketing is the practice of inventing and reinventing, breaking outside of the box, envisioning the possibilities that no one else sees, and creating a way for the unreal to become real. Marketing brings dreams to life!
People have always marketed with the goals of connecting, engaging, and grabbing their audience’s attention, and this is never going to change. That’s because marketing, at its core, is a type of relationship. Marketers have always achieved their goals by connecting with their audience and showcasing how they fulfill a human need, a practice that will never go out of style.
The realm of marketing has seen a wide range of changes over the years, and there’s no telling what the future holds. When you hear people talk about ‘traditional’ or ‘new’ marketing styles, there’s truth behind their statements when you consider the “how.” But what marketing is, from the act of creating something new to the flexibility of always adapting to the world around you, is truly a classic act that will always stay the same.