What exactly do marketers do? This is a question that is almost always the first thing addressed in any introductory book, class or tutorial on marketing. What is most interesting about answering this question is that while academics, consultants and, yes, even websites like KnowThis.com, generally provide a similar explanation of the tasks marketers perform, things are often a bit fuzzy when it comes to what falls under the marketing discipline within the business world.
A good example of this occurs in organizations where there are separate responsibilities for those involved in marketing and those involved in sales. This is despite the general textbook definition in which sales is almost always considered to be a part of marketing and should not be separate. Of course, this is not the only example. For instance, product development, while considered the responsibility of marketers, is frequently not viewed as a marketing function, instead designers and engineers may take on this role. The same holds for public relations that is often a standalone department that not only handles product issues but also takes care of corporate PR.
There are even organizations where marketing is not even used to explain what people do, even though they do it. For example, beginning July 1, Procter & Gamble will no longer use the word “marketing” in job titles. Instead, the focus will be on “brand” management which, according to this Advertising Age story, will have these folks focusing on key issues related to individual brands. Before the change, P&G marketers were somewhat focused on more limited marketing issues, which likely included an active focus on promotion and pricing. However, as discussed in this story, the new functions, which seem to now include marketing research, public relations and product design, are functions that we define as being part of marketing.
Curiously, while job titles at P&G may change, the basic responsibilities appear to actually cover more marketing than what these executives used to cover.