Marketing Definition:
by Mike Lewitz

The art and science of understanding the needs, wants and desires of what makes individuals take action, then applying that understanding in communicating a message that inspires the existing emotional and irrational drivers of individuals to elevate a psychological need, want, or desire for a perceptively external, tangible and logical satisfaction, and enticing the action of satisfying that need, want or desire by acquiring specific knowledge, products, or services provided by a specific individual or group.


  • Marketing is both an art and a science.
  • Emotions are the powerful, unconscious forces that drive us to make decisions and take action.  Thus, all decisions we make are emotional.
  • Emotional influences result in psychological needs, wants, and desires.
  • Psychological needs, wants, and desires cannot arise from emotions that do not exist.
  • We humans do not function within any ‘fixed’ or common reality. We function only on an individual perception of reality each of us has uniquely created in our mind.
  • We rationalize, validate and justify our psychological needs with logic.
  • Logic is external, rational, tangible, and measurable.
  • Our logical, rational conclusions drive us to seek out solutions that satisfy our perceived needs, wants and desires.
  • Since solutions are perceived to be logical, solutions are expected to be found through external, rational, tangible, and measurable means.
  • External solutions are (perceived to be) found though acquiring products, knowledge, and/or services.

There is no globally accepted marketing definition, and the most widely accepted version evolves over time.  As my personal understanding through study and application of how psychological triggers are activated to cause people to take action, I have developed this current model marketing definition.  The goal is to help people understand the incredible significance of the irrational mind in the decision-making process.

Modern brain science has only recently come to discover that we are exponentially more emotionally directed than anyone ever imagined in addition to clearly understanding the parts of the brain that control the decision-making process.  In fact, our emotions are so critical to decision-making, modern brain science has discovered that people who lack the ability to connect to the emotional part of their brain, such as from a severe brain injury, are incapable of making decisions at all.


Many former definitions relate marketing closer to consumerism and the buying and selling process. While this is certainly the purpose for doing marketing, buying and selling activities are NOT marketing, they are simply the the end result of applying proper and effective marketing principles that facilitate the emotional desire to purchase specific things.

In his book, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (1974), Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, wrote (p. 64):

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy.”

NOTICE: The RESULT of marketing is: “A customer who is ready to buy.”

To illustrate the overshadowing emotional factors of marketing, here is an excerpt from the description of Seth Godin’s book All Marketers Are Liars found on

“Every marketer tells a story. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche Cayenne is vastly superior to a $36,000 VW Touareg, which is virtually the same car. We believe that $225 Pumas will make our feet feel better-and look cooler-than $20 no-names . . . and believing it makes it true.”


People will not buy unless they have an emotional association with something.

Some definitions suggest that marketing creates and/or delivers value.  The statement is somewhat ambiguous, as value is determined only by each individual.  Value is subjective.

Value is only created in and determined by the mind of individuals.

Marketing only facilitates the understanding that value exists within a given product or service or piece of information.  Marketing does not create or deliver the value itself, although marketing does …and SHOULD always… direct the creation of value through the understanding of what consumers want.


For example: Suppose I write a book about how to change your oil in your car.  First of all, the ONLY reason I would write such a book is because I initially did some research and discovered there are many people who would like to learn how and don’t really know where to find answers.  (…just go with me on this…) Since you cannot acquire the actual value of the content until you read the book, you must first purchase it based on your value perception.

If you were a master mechanic, what would your value perception be of this basic, fundamental book?  Probably zero.

If you knew nothing about cars …AND… wanted to learn how to change your own oil, what would your value perception be, now?

What if I inadvertently titled the book: “Pepperoni Pizza: A Love Story.”

What is your value perception of the book, now?


Here’s where marketing comes in:
Marketing fills the communication gap …in both directions!

The real value of the book, as determined by the person who has a want or desire for the information in the book, is not based on the title.  Regardless of the title, the content of the book is the same.  Yes, the perception of the value of the book is changed …and this why understanding marketing is so important: it’s about activating the emotional triggers to get people to take action.

The job of marketing is to come in and demonstrate, or paint the picture of, the value; to give you the perception that the book is valuable to you …based on YOUR needs.

While I’ve used an absurd example, it’s important to recognize and acknowledge that people DO evaluate value based on first impression or ‘the cover.’

So, ask yourself: “How many of your products and services, even your business name, have you named in such a way that people don’t instantly recognize the value?”

If you’ve done this, you’re walking an uphill battle.


The ThighMaster is a great real-world example.

The original inventor of the item (whatever he originally invented it for) couldn’t sell it for pennies.  A smart marketer came in, bought the patent, made a couple minor modifications, got a sexy, young girl to model it (Suzanne Somers), and called it the ‘Thigh-Master.’  They created a message that communicated the value to others in a way the original inventor was unable to accomplish.

They made Millions.

Why?  Because they understood what their potential buyers wanted and then slightly modified the product and created a message that spoke directly to the wants of their potential buyers.

But, the original product was essentially the same.  The intrinsic value never changed and the marketing did not actually create any value.  The marketing simply communicated the message that the item has value to those who were looking for an item that provides the value they sought after.

The value itself is actually created by the business or individual.  In a large company, marketing tells engineering that consumers prefer and value the color red and engineering creates what marketing research has discovered will motivate consumers to buy.


Sadly, too many business got it backwards.  They create their product, then go figure out a way for people to “market” (read: sell) it …often by the time things aren’t going well.

Because nobody knows what is going on inside the mind of others, research is necessary to determine the value triggers.


Understand what your customer wants, figure out the emotional triggers, build what they want, create a message that leverages those emotional triggers and entice them to buy …in that order.

That’s the application of the definition above and a proven model to get consumers to chase you to the ends of the Earth.  …now GO take action.


Mike Lewitz is an innovative marketer who truly ‘gets’ the mental and emotional buying process of consumers. He’s shown thousands of global business owners proven, cutting-edge marketing methods that bring abundant results.  Mike is formerly a Google Certified Advertising Professional and holds two Bachelor’s degrees (business & marketing) and an M.B.A. in Management.

You may freely distribute, copy & share this article with acknowledgment/referring link.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
One Response to “Marketing Definition”
  1. Lynda Alley says:

    Mike Lewitz University
    I hope to graduate with my degree haha
    Brilliant article. My goal today is to read them all.

Leave a Reply