Marketing is not Just Advertising: The 3 Key Frameworks for Marketing

Marketing is more than just advertising

Recently, I have seen many comments that talk about marketing to describe promotional campaigns. Marketing is so much more that the advertisements we see. “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” (AMA 2008)

In order for this to happen, the marketer must do more than simply create an advertisement (digital or otherwise.) From a strategic perspective 3 frameworks exist that are generally used to think about marketing strategy.

‘The 5 Cs’

  • Competitors – Behavior and response – our decisions are not made in a vacuum
  • Customers – What perceived value to the customers see? Combination of functional, psychological and economic
  • Context – What is going on in the world, society, industry around us? How will it affect our brand, product, market, industry?
  • Collaborators – The people who interact with us, such as distributors, companies that provide related/associated products. For example, bathing suit companies and swim coaches or pool companies
  • Company – What is happening within our own company will affect our marketing efforts


  • Segmentation – Everyone is not the same, and dividing up potential customers by various characteristics such as demographic, psychographic, geographic, helps us understand our customers needs, wants, desires.
  • Targeting – Once segmented, we need to decide which segments we want to pursue, not all segments will find our products or services useful or relevant
  • Positioning – Once segments are chosen, the best concept can be chosen to match the chosen segments, different segments will require a different concept based on demographic, psychographic, geographic and other characteristic differences.

‘The 4 Ps’

  • Product – What  the actual product or service is or encompasses
  • Price – How the product will be priced, whether as a single item, bundling or otherwise
  • Place – Where it will be located, for a consumer product this might refer which shelf at a store or where online
  • Promotion – How the product will be advertised and branded

Promotion is only one aspect of marketing, and yet many of my colleagues, friends, and acquaintances seem to have the misconception that marketing refers to this one small area of what is actually a larger marketing strategy. Without considering the 5Cs, STP, and the 4Ps as part of a marketing strategy, marketers will not be successful in creating value for their customers.

Marketing is so much more than just promotions!


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