Marketing Greater Than Or Equal To Selling

“By proclaiming that ‘markets are conversations,’ and that talking with customers is the ultimate marketing methodology, Cluetrain ignores this important truism from Rene Descartes:
‘To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say.’

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Your definitions are not accurate.
    Recall from Marketing 101 that marketing consists of the 4 Ps: product, price, place (distribution), and promotion.
    Promotion includes TV commercials, ads, Web sites, direct mail — all the things that both branding and direct marketing agencies and copywriters create for their clients.
    Promotion is mass communication; selling is one on one communication, either in person or via phone, between two people: a salesperson and a prospect.

  2. They’re not my definitions.
    But as long as we’re concerned with accuracy here, allow me to add some depth to Mr. Rodriguez’s comments about what constitutes marketing.
    Marketing is a process where we take two identical products and create differentiation, and thereby brand preference.
    Steve Laughlin of Laughlin Constable speaks eloquently on the topic:
    “Business is a numbers game and we should never forget it.
    A Mitsubishi and a BMW both weigh about 4,000 pounds. The BMW costs twice as much. Those are numbers. How many people get MBAs in order to be able to afford a Mitsubishi?
    Branding is not a numbers game and we shouldn

  3. I fear a descent into definition wars. Like there is some absolute true definition of what marketing is or isn’t. Instead of going with something like “this is what it means for me”.

  4. Of course, you are right Johnnie. Thanks for mediating.
    It’s all about selling anyway. Marketing is just the well spoken, well dressed version of hucksterism.