Kim - you nailed it by calling Relationship the key driver in marketing. What is intriguing to me is how many forms relationship-in-marketing can take.
For a marketing-driven product development program, the relationship is primarily one of listening, observing, testing, and clarifying - ensuring you have the insights to drive a successful new product.
For B2B, the relationship is primarily 1-to-1, building common ground and shared interests, positioning oneself as the solution for the prospect's most pressing needs.
For traditional B2C marketing, the relationship is brand-consumer, where the brand assumes the role of trusted companion in one of life's many activities.
All of these require finely-honed communication skills, including listening, understanding, building a compelling message, and engaging delivery via the right medium.
The marketer's job, then, can take many forms, is always challenging, and offers great satisfaction, ultimately, by satisfying the customer's needs.