What is Marketing?

by Bella B., Web Marketing Intern

Stahls’ marketing techniques include giveaways at trade shows.

This summer Stahls’  interns have been having meet-and-greet luncheons with different employees throughout the company. During these luncheons we learn about each employee’s job position, their past experiences that led up their success, and informative tips and recommendations for our career paths. For our last luncheon we met with Ted Stahl. This luncheon started just like the rest, with Ted asking us what our majors are (we’re all marketing majors), where we go school etc. He then asked us, “What is marketing?”

According to the dictionary, one of the definitions of marketing is “the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.” Okay, but what does that mean? Ted picked our brains and asked us what we thought marketing really meant. Our answers varied from finding demand and supplying it to satisfying the customer’s needs. This was at least partially correct – that is the goal: to market to people in hopes you fulfill a want/need in a certain market. So how do you market?

Ted told us a story about a retail shop he used to own. He was painting the outside walls and the can of paint had fallen down and paint splattered all over the cement. Instead of viewing this as a mistake he saw it as an opportunity. He painted the entire sidewalk that color and painted a large daisy in front of the door. The local newspaper thought it was a clever idea and wrote an article about the store including a picture of the daisy. This was one of Ted’s unique types of marketing. After telling us this story he asked us what we would do to market heat transfer material to our customer. We said send samples, go to trade shoes, write letters to our customers, etc.

After the luncheon was over I walked out  and thought about what marketing really is. Ted told us we’ve been marketing since we were born and it’s present in our lives every day. He was completely right; if we wanted a bottle, we let people know. A huge part of the process is communicating to your customers and taking advantage of opportunities to tell them what you do and why they should pick you to do it.

I guess I still don’t know exactly how to explain marketing but I’m enjoying the process of defining it.  What do you think marketing is? Share your definition in the comments section.


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