What is the goal of marketing?

No, really. I want to know.

As someone in the new media/startup world, I want to know the answer. In its simplest form, what do you think the goal of marketing is or should be?

I mean, you could say “To promote a product,” but that leaves out user acquisition, sales, etc.

What is the shortest, yet most comprehensive answer you could give to the question: What is the goal of marketing?

5 Responses to “What is the goal of marketing?”

  1. Great question, really. I come from the world of PR, which is different than marketing, but if I had to boil it down I’d say the goal of marketing is to use a variety of channels to gain new customers and keep existing customers. Overly simplistic? Probably. But ultimately all of the things a company does, from market research to product promotion to advertising is to satisfy those goals: keep existing customers and get new ones.


  2. The goal of marketing is to drives sales. Period.
    All other marketing discussions typically involve how to choose the best marketing tactics and utilize & coordinate those tactics to drives those sales.
    True marketers realize that this is a long-term strategy that must involve product development and an ongoing effort to satisfy customers to ever-higher levels of satisfaction while at the same time ensuring that one’s offering represents unique value that cannot be found in competitive offerings.
    Marketing to drive short-term sales is termed “sales promotion”. Marketing to drive long-term sales is called, well, “marketing”.
    Dave Dolak

  3. Dave, your response is both ludicrous and short sighted. the fact that you interchange marketing and sales based on the length of time is ridiculous.

    The goal of marketing is not to drive sales. The goal of sales is to drive sales. It’s a common fallacy, a hangover of the 1980′s when Sales departments decided to change their names to “Sales and Marketing” to sound cool.
    Any large scale organisation has separate Sales, PR and Marketing departments, each with separate responsibilites and remits.

    If you want a reductionist view of “marketing”, then in the purest sense, it is defined as the faciliation of the exchange of goods or services between multiple parties for mutual gain, perceived or actual.

    There are many approaches to the above, whether Brand / Product / Consumer centric that can help with that goal – but that is the overall goal.

  4. Uh, Matt?

    Sales is a marketing function.

    So if we take your definition, “the facili[t]ation of the exchange of goods or services between multiple parties for mutual gain, perceived or actual”, then what actually instigates that “exchange” if not a sale of some kind?

    The days of bartering good is long over. We use a common currency called dollars or [choose your local currency] and convincing somebody to give you some in exchange for a good or a service is called a sale.

  5. The role of Marketing is to engage the mind of the consumer such that a transaction with the brand becomes a desirable possibility in the consumer’s mind.

    The goal, of course, is to create legions of willing consumers — those who we can turn into leads or sales. Generating leads and sales is a (necessary) side effect of successful marketing, not the point of marketing.

    How do we create that desirable possibility? Establish and reinforce in the consumer’s mind unshakable truths about what makes our brand unique in the category – not what is the same or similar to other brands. This is where we “decide what business we’re in.” This is where we consciously decide that standing for specific perceptions in the mind of the consumer means that some people won’t be attracted to us, but others will be more attracted to us. This is where we decide not to be all things to all people.

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