Marketing Marketing

9 February 2016

The word “marketing” is in my opinion one of the most frequently used words when creating a new term. I once started making a list of these terms and, before I knew it, had an impressive list of some 80 terms, all of them to do with marketing. From senior citizen marketing to youth marketing, from city marketing to rural marketing. I once, jokingly, even introduced the term “worst marketing” and, to my amazement, people around me started seriously using it in no time at all. I’ll tell you more about that another time.



One of these [word]+marketing combinations that is currently undergoing a revival is the term “micro-marketing”. I have certainly been seeing it with worrying regularity recently. I thought I would just look up what it means. The most amusing definition I found was on marketing online: “micro-marketing makes individualised mass-marketing possible.” …….. I also recommend you check Wiki Marketing some time. Sadly, I can’t take credit for thinking up the website’s name…

You can find many different definitions of the word “marketing”. However, if you then combine marketing with another word such as “consumer”, for example, it is only partially clear what it is supposed to mean. You are doing something “at” or “for” consumers, but what exactly that is depends on the definition you are using. Are you planning something or are you carrying something out, are you trading or making transactions. These are all different components of accepted definitions.

According to some of the sources I have consulted, micro-marketing is closely linked to an approach that focuses on small groups of buyers (or potential buyers), often with geographical and/or demographic characteristics. And there was me thinking that all that was part of “normal” marketing. Never mind.


The Essence of Marketing

All those [word]+marketing combinations are, in fact, completely unnecessary, because what actually is the essence of marketing? Marketing is always about the buyer i.e. the customer. Customers differ in two ways: firstly, they differ in terms of needs, and secondly, they differ in terms of value. On the basis of this distinction, marketing aims to make the closest match possible between this difference on the one hand, and the competencies of the organisation meeting those needs on the other. The activities needed to do this are therefore all part of the matching process and combined make up the discipline of marketing.

Figures or demographic characteristics are therefore irrelevant. Marketing is about grouping buyers together into categories based on needs and values in the most effective and efficient way possible. Whether or not the result of all this is “micro”, well, that depends on the value. Ultimately, this whole set of issues is something that data-driven marketeers like ourselves are happy to help with and explain. Then again, you probably already knew that

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