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Marketing, as it was intended, is dead. A bold statement, indeed, but one worth the attention it seeks. What happened to marketing? When did it become solely about likes, shares, views and impressions? When did it become interchangeable with graphic design, fine arts creativity, casual freelancing and anti-corporate philosophical idioms?

Yes, the above line of questioning may come across as abrupt, conservative, ‘old-school’ and perhaps even harsh. The truth is, however, that marketing has become synonymous with PROMOTION ONLY and, therefore, has become purely tactical in many circles. When the term 'marketer' comes to mind, the immediate association is with those who are creative, artistic and theoretical and the term 'marketing' is associated with social media, web design and brochures. True marketing, however, encompasses so much more.

Marketing defines the most fundamental composition of a company and asks questions from a business-oriented standpoint by using logical reasoning, proven experience and pragmatism as tools for building a solid strategic plan.

In fact, some of the most prolific marketing professionals I have encountered (and with whom I have had the pleasure to have worked) haven't had a creative bone in their bodies… and that proved to be just fine. Creativity is only one small block in the vast Rubik's cube of marketing.

One of the most fundamental courses in formal business education is Marketing 101. If one was to ask an existing student or graduate to explain their understanding of marketing (regardless of how well they performed in the course), they would easily recite the ‘4 Ps of Marketing’: PRODUCT, PRICE, PLACE AND PROMOTION. So what happened to the first 3 Ps? Why has business decision-making related to product, price and distribution become so disassociated with the field of marketing? How can a company possibly design a promotional strategy without first developing a firm understanding of these most basic elements of business?

So, perhaps, marketing isn't dead. Perhaps it has simply become redefined based on this new (mis)understanding that marketing is all about promotion. It is important to remember that promotion, in marketing, is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Simply stated: to design a bonafide, strategic blueprint, a company must perform an in-depth analysis of what it is, what it strives to be, who it wants to serve, with whom it intends to compete and engage, where it currently stands and where it wants to go. Only then can it determine how it intends to get there. Without a firm understanding of the company character, vision, mission, philosophies and the who/what/where/why/when of business essentials, the 'how' becomes, ultimately, irrelevant.


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