What is marketing?
If you go to search engines like Google and type in marketing, it will come up with over 16 million web pages of explanations on what marketing actually is. When most people refer to marketing, they refer to marketing tactics. But tactics, while being the most salient aspects of marketing are useless without a sound basis of knowledge.
Marketing is not just about tactics, it's about understanding your own company and its abilities and weaknesses. Marketing is about the analysis of customers, competitors and an organisation as a whole.
By combining this understanding into an overall understanding of what potential market segments exist, the marketing professional decides which are the most profitable segments, how to position products in this segment, and then doing what is necessary to deliver on that positioning. A sound marketing strategy is based on this type of analysis.
When you think about marketing you need to also think about your company's ability to actually survive in its chosen markets. Before you hire consultants and network with other marketers, make sure you understand what marketing is. Don't become at tactical pawn, but someone who can ultimately direct the entire marketing campaign.