Defining "marketing" is difficult -- some might argue that it's impossible. Every scenario, every brand, every client requires a customized campaign that redefines marketing for their needs. Social media is taking this issue to a whole new level. Where marketers could once just put a message out there and wait for the response to come trickling in, the response is now immediate and difficult to control.
It's becoming more apparent every day that the traditional role of marketers is shifting. One social-media-induced change I've noticed is the blurring of the lines between customer-service and marketing departments. Bad customer service has become a marketing problem and vice versa (just ask United Airlines). Twitter is another great example. Most of us would consider it a marketing tool, but the companies that are successful on Twitter are not just using it to push messages out; they're having an ongoing dialogue with the consumer -- answering questions, apologizing for mishaps, accepting criticism (and hopefully sending it along to managers) and thanking users. That sounds a lot like customer service to me.
Brands are at the mercy of the consumer, which is forcing companies to change their policies and marketers to up the ante. The Four P's are not going to cut it any more. If we're going to stay relevant, we're going to have to invite a lot more letters to the table.
For those of us entering the work force, how, exactly, is the entry-level marketing role defined? Oftentimes, it's not. Not very well, anyway. Job descriptions are vague because marketing responsibilities are changing. The idea of not having a hard-and-fast job description is stressful to some people, but I look at it as a fantastic opportunity for us to get our hands dirty and really learn the ins and outs of a company. As long as we're open-minded, stay on top of the changes in the industry and always keep the customer in mind, I think we'll weather the storm and emerge as a better generation of marketers for it.