is my definition of marketing, gathered from owning and working for multiple consumer product brands, selling into 1000s of doors, on multiple continents, over the course of 25 years.
Marketing is the messaging that is developed to portray a business, product or offer, which is put into locations (virtual or otherwise) where that message will be seen by people who are in the right time in their decision making process to allow the message to penetrate their shields. Right message, right place, right time.
For marketing to work well, it has to meet all three criteria, a troika. It has to be an appropriate message, delivered in the right place, delivered at the right time. If any of these three areas are a miss, the marketing effort is likely to underperform the intended outcome.
From this starting point, every single marketing effort has to begin with a strategy that starts with who is the audience, From that humble beginning comes how to convey an audience appropriate message at the right place and the right timing so as to achieve the outcome desired for the business.
Start there, all the time. Never get into any marketing efforts where the troika has not be considered at the outset. Just because someone else has effective marketing in some way does not mean you will, too. Good marketing must take into account the audience, their mindset, their needs/wants, where and when they are most likely to appreciate having the message introduced to them.
A great message at the wrong time is useless. Great timing with a bad location is useless. Great locations with a poor message is useless (like lots of websites or trade show booths). Whether it is the website you create, the emailing you send out, the banner ads you post online, the presentation you make at a trade show, or the effort you make in social media, go through the same process every time and your effectiveness will skyrocket.