Two and a half thousand years ago the Chinese philosopher Confucius is rumoured to have said:
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.
If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
The salient point is the way you define what you do ultimately determines what you do. A few years ago I remember asking two educated marketing colleagues to define marketing for me. These were people I respected with degrees in marketing.
“Well, it’s sort of everything, isn’t it?” was the best response they managed.
If you define marketing as everything you will end up doing everything (Snapchat, anyone?) with no clear image of the objectives.
Personally I like Peter Drucker’s definition: marketing is everything to do with making and keeping a customer. Many companies forget about the second part because they define themselves by what they do, and what they do is often a one-time sale.
I have a number of friends getting married at the moment. I am constantly amazed at the stupidity of wedding dress shops who avoid continuing a relationship with people they sold a dress to for thousands and thousands of pounds.
They don’t continue the customer relationship because they have not correctly defined what it is they do.
“But we’re a dress shop!” they say.
“No you’re not!” I say.
I’m running a webinar this Wednesday on the full marketing nurture process, as I see it. The first thing we’ll do is nail down the definitions on what we are doing.
If you still think definitions are unimportant then by all means don’t attend.