This is an odd chapter title, especially in a book about marketing that's written for a readership including a high proportion of marketers. It's difficult to believe that an equivalent would be required in a book about any other large corporate department – IT, say, or HR.1
In financial services at least, when it comes to the role of marketing this kind of uncertainty is prevalent within firms as a whole, and indeed within marketing departments in particular. In all our research and discussions, we met few marketing people – up to and including some very senior marketing directors – who had a clear sense of what they and their departments were and were not supposed to be doing.2
Few, in fact, had any agreed definition of what marketing actually is, shared either within their own departments or within their businesses as a whole. This was a surprise to us, and not in a good way. How can you set goals for marketing if you can't agree on what it is? How can you successfully measure the effectiveness of what you've done if you don't know what you should be measuring?
This is clearly an issue to be tackled sooner rather than later. It wouldn't be easy to write comprehensibly about how marketing needs to change if there wasn't any clarity or consensus on what it is, and what it does now.
We couldn't think of a better starting-point than the definition provided by the professional body for UK marketers, the Chartered Institute ...