Marketing is [this] not [this]

As a marketing professional, I can get pretty heated over "semantics"—words have their own identity in the minds of those hearing them.

"Uffda," for example, is a (loosely termed) word that is used mostly by folks in Michigan (I think) to represent a sound people make that is uttered during an unfortunate/surprising/uncomfortable moment in time. That 'word' means literally nothing to me, but to a Michiganian it has so much history, influence, and connotations only fellow Michiganians will recognize.

My old boss (not a marketer) and I were discussing my potential over coffee, and he told me that marketing wasn't something bigger—that he thought of marketing as the content alone. The design of the brand, the words on the page, and the ads on social media. That was marketing to him. He thought I was capable of and should be a part of the bigger picture, which was "so much more than sales enablement."

My feathers ruffled a bit. I argued that marketing is so much more than just the content. As a marketer, I see things in both minute detail and vast narrative arcs. Marketing is the strategy, the ideation, and the creation of a narrative that everything else flows from. Marketing informs content, but it isn't the execution of said content.

He said, "Semantics. We're basically saying the same thing."

But to limit your definition of marketing to [this] small bucket, and not identify the term with [this] larger scope, is not just a semantics issue. It shoots every marketer's job description, title, and professional motivation in the foot.

Marketing IS the bigger picture. It encompasses everything, from ideation through execution. If my old boss, who led the entire marketing team, views the term "marketing" as less-than, what does that mean for the team? How do we redefine marketing as [this] bigger, awesomer, more essential thing and not [this] little box of content and logos? Where do we start?

Nicole Guernsey