How Google, Bing & iStock Define Marketing

Sometimes I feel like we waste a lot of time with the talking. Or, perhaps, I waste a lot of time with the talking. We have conversations here about what things are, what they’re not, and then waste more time questioning what all of that means. I thought today I’d see what others have already said instead of reinventing the wheel.

The question on my mind today? What is marketing?

First I thought I’d ask Google. After all, if anyone has experience with marketing and dealing with marketers, it’s the number one search engine, right?

Google says that marketing is…


So, it’s everywhere, it’s storytelling and it’s everyone’s job? I’d agree with that.   But knowing what marketing is is only have the battle. We also have to know what marketing is not.  On the flip side, Google says that marketing is not…


Marketing isn’t dead, it’s not a dirty word and it’s a process, not an event.  Good going, Google.

In attempt to at least appear bi-partisan, I also asked Bing.  Bing came to a slightly more magical conclusion about things.

Marketing is magic.

When it came to what marketing is NOT, Bing didn’t waste any time.  They seemed pretty certain and I can’t say I really disagree.

But why should search engines get the only say? What about photo sharing sites? How would they visually represent marketing?  I asked iStock and got a three-part answer.

iStock defined marketing as the act of using search engine optimization…


To allow marketers to reach through the computer screen…

And hit their customers in the head with a targeted offer.


But what about you? Without using too many words, how would YOU define marketing?  Tell me, show me, sing me a song about it.  I don’t care, I just want to know.


About the Author
Lisa Barone
Lisa Barone co-founded Outspoken Media in 2009 and served as Chief Branding Officer until April 2012.

Your Comments

  • Jon DiPietro

    I use a super-simplified, Godin-esque definition: it’s spreading ideas.

    • Lisa Barone

      …spreading *anything* via *anything*?

      • Jon DiPietro

        Hmm. Spreading a cold via sneezing on people? Probably wound’t call that marketing.

        • Nick Gowdy

          *insert random stale quip about viral marketing*

  • Jerry McCarthy

    Marketing is not just seo. It’s the extension of personality within your brand and how you use it. It doesn’t have to be over complicated as it most times seems. It’s your ability to draw attention, be bold and build relationships. It doesn’t require arrogance or a huge budget just ingenuity. It’s the customer experience and the quality. It’s providing an experience within the service. Whether you sell eco friendly baby diapers or large scale consulting services. Many people assume when a client makes a purchase, the marketing cycle is complete when in reality, that’s when the real marketing begins. Thanks Lisa.

  • Jami Broom

    Advertising pushes a product to consumers; Marketing pulls consumers to the product.

  • TrafficColeman

    I think is something that attracting services to the people..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Joe Hall

    So hes not on the top of our favorites list anymore, but I really like this post by Seth Godin about branding as a myth.

    For me marketing is cultivating a narrative that leads people to act or feel, or both.

  • Jasmine Cuesta

    Getting people to care enough to act/react.

  • Evan Morris

    Marketing is figuring out what the right message is and then figuring out the right people to send it to. Then you have to figure out the best way to deliver that message. You can mix up the order but that’s about it! Do I get a prize?

  • Jeff

    Promoting your business, or cause, to others.

  • Lannon

    I like to think of it as the bridge that fills the gap between the product and the consumer.

  • Kristin

    Marketing is not just a one step or a one time process… it’s an ongoing process involved in creating a great product, promoting that product, and introducing others to your business….

    I think marketing for each product needs to start with the product, how it’s made and then evolve out into the promotion portion… it’s not just one step in the process it is the process of selling a product.

  • Justin Dupre

    Well for me marketing is making your products or services known to your customers for you to be able to generate business.

  • Norcross

    Bill Hicks said it best:

    “If anyone here is in marketing or advertising….kill yourselves”.

    I kid, I kid. Kind of. But the video is worth a look. ( …NSFW)

  • Bharat Patel

    Marketing is all about making awareness about your brand or products to your consumers with different styles. It can be anything that drags attention of your potential customers. If you don’t do marketing of your brand you do not wish to get success.
    A business cannot survive without marketing.

  • Jalpa

    Promoting to business thogh diffrent media like internet. Promote at the way like it could be reach to maximum peoples. Best options are google adwords, facebook or

  • Kat Caverly

    Marketing is social, and at its roots, social is marketing. It is building relationships. I think of the SMILE as the first marketing tool… a conversation starter!

    Wonderful post Lisa.

  • Seth

    Marketing is connecting people with products/services which they want, but haven’t yet found.