The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Inside baseball: what is marketing?

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.

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About This Blog

Connie Poulos
Senior Associate, Copywriter

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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