What is Marketing?

When you think about what marketing entails, are you clear on exactly what is included? A good definition of marketing is that it is the full range of activities that you undertake - both on and off the web - in order to make certain that you are meeting your customers’ needs and that you are receiving enough value in return for doing so. Note that we said ‘enough’ value; you need to be receiving enough in return that it is worth the time and investment that you are taking to provide the service or product that you offer.

Marketing is related to advertising, promotion, PR, and sales, but is actually a distinct activity that helps prepare you and your organization to perform the related activities thoroughly and well. You could actually think of advertising, promotion, PR, and sales as being influenced by your Internet marketing strategy, such as in Figure 1 below.


Figure 1: Internet Marketing Influences Other Related Activities

Internet marketing, like marketing off-site (off of your website), requires that you know enough about your customers and markets that you know how best to price, sell, and distribute your product or service. Doing so requires a level of marketing research and the development of a marketing plan. But before we discuss marketing research and planning, let’s look further at how Internet marketing is related to other activities by defining each one and how they are performed in the online environment.

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