If 100 of best marketing minds around gathered to discuss the industry, do you think that they all would be able to agree on a single dictionary definition of marketing?
I don't. In fact, good luck even reaching agreement on who the 100 best marketers are. I don't believe complete agreement is possible because marketers- like scientists, politicians, artists or sports fans, don't come without bias.
For a researcher, great marketing is researching, calculating, organizing and pouring over their statistical findings. On the other hand, to a strategist, great marketing is discovering key insights from proper interpretation of the data collected.
Talk to a copywriter and they will say an effective outdoor ad campaign must have well written copy that resonates in an instant. Yet, the media planner will likely say that finding and securing the perfect spot along the highway is the key to success.
In the graphic design department, great marketing is all about designing a package that will stand out among the thousands of products on store shelves. Of course, the sales department might say that the hard work is done before the product reaches the shelves. Just getting that big order from Wal-Mart is truly great marketing.
I'm not saying that marketers cannot look beyond their own job descriptions and see the value in the work others are doing. However, I am saying that there is a reason we value the things we do and view the world with those values in mind.
Therefore, I think we must ask two questions of ourselves. First, do we know why we value what we do? Second, is it more powerful to align ourselves with people who share similar values or must we convert outsiders to see the value in what we do and begin to value it for themselves?