Marketing Microsoft

Quotes that Define Marketing

What's marketing? Here's how the pros define that job role.

Like good taste, marketing is difficult to define. You know it when you see it, but it's tough to explain. There seems to be a practical consensus in Microsoft partner circles that marketing means "promotion." Yet reference sources from the veritable Merriam-Webster to the online to the collective wisdom of Wikipedia don't seem to be able to agree on a definition of that term, either.

So I'll try to define it in another way: by quoting some of the masters of the art and science of marketing, which generally used to be referred to as advertising. (My thanks to the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Advertising for its extensive library of quotations from the industry's major players, spanning more than a century.)

"[Marketing] is what you do when you can't [afford to] go see somebody [in person]." Fairfax Cone, principal of Foote, Cone & Belding, 1963.

"[Marketing] is the foot on the accelerator, the hand on the throttle, the spur on the flank that keeps our economy surging forward." Robert W. Sarnoff, quoted in The International Dictionary of Thoughts, by John P. Bradley, Leo F. Daniels and Thomas C. Jones, 1969.

"I do not regard [marketing] as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information." David Ogilvy in Ogilvy on Advertising, 1985.

"The more facts you tell, the more you sell. An advertisement's chance for success invariably increases as the number of pertinent merchandise facts included in the advertisement increases." Dr. Charles Edwards, quoted in Good Advice, by Leonard Safire and William Safire, 1982.

"The mystery of writing advertisements consists mainly in saying in a few plain words exactly what it is desired to say, precisely as it would be written in a letter or told to an acquaintance." George P. Rowell, quoted in Advertiser's Gazette, 1870.

"There is no way for the American economic system to function without [marketing]. There is no other way to communicate enough information about enough products to enough people with enough speed." John O'Toole in The Trouble with Advertising, 1981.

"We find that [marketing] works the way the grass grows. You can never see it, but every week you have to mow the lawn." Andy Tarshis of the A.C. Nielsen Co., quoted in Whatever Happened to Madison Avenue: Advertising in the '90s, by Martin Mayer, 1991.

"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising." Mark Twain, quoted in The Crown Treasury of Relevant Quotations, by Edward F. Murphy, 1978.

"[Marketing] is Cyrano [de Bergerac]. He comes under your window and sings; people get used to it and ignore it. But if Roxane responds, there's a relationship. We move the brand relationship up a notch. [Marketing] becomes a dialogue that becomes an invitation to a relationship." Lester Wunderman of Young & Rubicam, quoted in Whatever Happened to Madison Avenue, 1991.

"You see, advertising is a substitute for a salesperson, so it should be likeable. Who would buy from a salesperson who is rude, arrogant or insulting? People like to do business with people they like; therefore they respond to advertising created by people who like people." Jerry Goodis, quoted in The Dictionary of Canadian Quotations, by John Robert Colombo, 1991.

But nothing defines the heart of marketing more than this quote from Fairfax Cone in The Trouble with Advertising: "There is no such thing as a Mass Mind. The Mass Audience is made up of individuals, and good [marketing] is written always from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions, it rarely moves anyone."

About the Author

M.H. "Mac" McIntosh has been providing marketing and sales consulting services for Microsoft and many of its partners for more than seven years. More than 1,000 Microsoft Partners across the United States and Canada have attended his Marketing Boot Camps and Marketing for Leads (tm) live and Web seminars. You can contact Mac via