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Marketing redefined: THIS is what you do for a living

So you're in marketing? What does that mean?

Depends who you ask, and the phrase "marketing" has perhaps lost a lot of its meaning over the years. In order to restore some clarity I thought I would expand on a wonderfully concise definition, first coined by John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, who said customers need to "know, like and trust" a brand before buying.

Back then [in 2004], he was talking about the pre-social media world. For him, the 'know' came from advertising, the 'like' came from PR and the 'trust' came from referral. But nowadays it is all compressed, and if we look at the endless buzz around social media marketing, and the increased emphasis on personal relationships, it's clearer than ever that the marketer's job needs to encompass all three.

So to define "marketing", I would re-position John's phrase in the context of digital, social-media-obsessed, peer-network-enabled marketing and suggest that our job, as marketers, is this:

"to get someone who has a problem to know, like and trust someone who has a solution [enough to pay them money for it].

It's simple, but simple things have the benefit of clarity. Trust is more important than ever. The wholesale broadcast of standard marketing messages to the masses has long been discredited. We know we need to build awareness, build relationships, and build trust if we are to be preferred at the point when a customer finally signs the contract, and I think this definition helps us to remember it.

So is that what you do for a living? Do you get people to know, like and trust you – or have I over-simplified the fine art of marketing? What would your definition be, and has it changed since we all discovered Twitter? From one marketer to another, I'd like to know what you think...