When I interview people to join my team, I always ask one question:
What is marketing?
Considering the person is interviewing for a marketing position, it’s odd how often they’re not prepared for this question.
At the core is whether someone comes in with an understanding of the adventure on which he or she might embark with my team. That perspective gives me a sense where experience and education meets.
For many, the answer I get seems like a desperate grasp — drowning in a run-on sentence that never quite finds a path to a definition.
When interviewing for entry-level positions, some liberal arts or business administration degree along with a single lecture class results in a someone deciding upon marketing as the chosen career.
What else could one do?
Along the way, someone might have suggested marketing as the entry path into big business.
My own degrees aren’t in marketing, but I teetered on the edge in communication fields for so long, the fall into the supple lap of advertising, branding, research and products/services proved to be almost a natural extension.
But for others, I don’t think marketing reaches a tipping point of full comprehension. Asking candidates the definition reveals that failure. If one cannot actually verbalize some concept of what marketing is, how could one dedicate more than 40 hours of every week to doing it?
What’s my definition?
No answer here. But it’s not on Wikipedia or answered anywhere else online or in a textbook. It’s at a crossroads of comprehension and the application of that knowledge.
In other words, I’ll know it when I see it, hear it or read it… or all of these three combined.