Marketing, (Re?)Defined

July 3, 2007 by

Over in the Church Marketing Lab, there’s some good discussion going on about the definition of marketing.

It all started when user ‘blogpaul’ put forth this marketing definition:

mar·ket·ing /ˈmɑrkɪtɪŋ/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[mahr-ki-ting] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
1. the act of buying or selling in a market.
2. the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.

Is the current definition obsolete? In the context of contemporary life, what are goods and services? If you’re into the church, marketing, photo shopping, arguments, John Maynard Keynes, or dictionaries, you’d better get in on this discussion.

Post By:

Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

2 Responses to “Marketing, (Re?)Defined”

  • Mean Dean
    July 5, 2007

    I don’t think a do-over of the definition is in order as much as a re-factoring of people’s perception of of marketing the Church.
    Mention marketing to some and they recoil as if they were offered the forbidden apple themselves.
    Instead, we need to understand that successful evangelism means marketing the message of Christ.
    After all, just as in marketing, doesn’t the Church count success in terms of ‘conversion rates?’

     | Permalink
  • Sara
    July 17, 2007

    I beg to differ when it comes to mere numbers or a head count — ‘conversion rate’ as cited above as a definition of man’s success.
    Many pastors feel they are failures because they don’t have thousands of bodies in their megachurches — or that they fail to lead megachurches. Is this what the Great Commission is about? Warm bodies taking up space in the padded pews? A head count? Creating an atmosphere where the frozen chosen can network once a week with other like-minded souls and swap gardening tips over gourmet coffee and how to best haggle over the price of private schools? Ok, now my slip is showing.
    We won’t know the fullness of our impact in other’s lives or what really goes on in their heads. The actions will eventually find them out. And there will be plenty who act the part and talk the walk, but won’t be faithful, and others who are rough around the edges through and through but are the most genuine to their faith that you will ever find. And both will be received into glory.
    As per marketing, do we need to “sell” Christ to the world, or do we need to go out and just “be” Christ to the world, as he did? No one went around thinking that they needed a savior or a new necklace or a pretty picture of a cottage with an inspirational saying on it. But they knew that the world needed to change from what it was. And they saw people making a difference and they wanted to be like the people who were making a difference.
    And then they decided to be like them. Even if it killed them.

     | Permalink

Peer Review