The Market for Marketing

“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” – Milan Kundera

A few years ago, I met up with Tim Tran, the former Chief Financial Officer for Shell Oil International, to talk about businesses and careers. He believed that the best, most secure line of work in the corporate world or any business was in finance. He rationalized that “people always need their money counted.” I simply replied: “without marketing you wouldn’t have any money to count.”

A great idea without any way to share it is simply a secret. Without a person selling the world’s greatest mousetrap, the device will not trap the mice of the planet. If no one is singing and playing the next hit song, it will just be a song. Ideas, products, and music need to be spread. Though trends, technology, methods of communication, or economies might change, there will always be a market.  Whether it is a market of ideas or of products, humans are social beings and are co-dependent on one another. Hence, there will also be a need for marketing. However, “marketing” isn’t necessarily advertising.  Someone with a marketing title might be doing less marketing than a the dedicated customer sales representative who just made a person’s day. Organic marketing isn’t about who can scream the loudest into the microphone, it’s the person who can speak into and get their fans – the brand loyalists – to scream the loudest for them.

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