Marketing is the process of transforming or changing an organization to have what people will buy.

I don’t know what the infinitive here means, does it tell the purpose or it has other functions.

  • 1
    Even with the corrected sentence, marketing doesn't normally change a company itself. I would instead consider that to be rebranding. (Albeit possibly as a result of some kind of marketing study.) Marketing uses an existing company to sell a particular product—or (more commonly) to entice people to buy a particular product. Feb 25, 2019 at 16:48
  • @JasonBassford It's rhetorical and intentionally counter-intuitive to make a point. Normally ,"Sales is getting people to buy what your company sells, marketing is changing your company to have what people will buy"
    – JeffUK
    Feb 25, 2019 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


As some of the comments mention, the sentence doesn't make sense because this isn't what "marketing" is or does. Nevertheless, even if it is wrong, we can still analyze the sentence for what it does mean.

Marketing is a process of [something]

So far this is fine. The basic sentence defines what marketing is. What is it exactly?

Marketing is a process of transforming or changing an organization.

Well, no. That's not what marketing is -- it's a process whereby the company explains to the rest of the world what it does, or, at least, what it wants the world to think that it does.

But OK, whatever, we can still roll with it. How exactly does it transform the organization?

[It] transforms the organization to have what people will buy.

Aside from being wrong, it's also a little strange. With the verb "transform", it's common to use the preposition into rather than to. Something is transformed from one thing into another thing. Example:

Over two decades, Nintendo was transformed from a playing card company into a video game icon.

It's not wrong to say something changes to something else, but it usually means "switch" rather than "transform":

Waiter, one moment. I'd like to change my order to the fish.

In other words, when I "change to" something, I'm not modifying it so it becomes something else. I'm just selecting between options.

This might be fine if the author used only the verb "change", but it's confusing when associated with the verb "transform".

Again, let's roll with it and look at the relevant part in a different context:

In my store, I want to have what people want to buy.

This should make perfect sense. If I have a store, I want to sell products that will be sold -- that people want to buy.

In the same way your example sentence is trying to say that marketing somehow gets the organization to offer items that their customers want. As I said at the start, this is wrong, but perhaps the writer is trying to convey something more subtle:

Marketing is the process that transforms the outward face of an organization so that its customers believe it has what they want to buy.

This should make more sense, as well as be factually correct.

  • Thank you for the answer and I've been re-thinking about this sentence, so based on your explanation , the infinitive here probably wouldn't equal in order to ? Does the infinitive "to have what people will buy" function as an complement of the object organization?
    – Fionna
    Mar 13, 2019 at 12:51
  • 1
    If anything it's an adverb phrase modifying transform/change.
    – Andrew
    Mar 13, 2019 at 15:16

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