"Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two--and only two--basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business."This reminds me that even in difficult economic times, marketing is still an extremely important investment. We still need to seduce and retain new customers. As someone (also in marketing) once said, "you can't cost control yourself to greatness".
My company Rosetta, amonst others, is focused on the kind of marketing that will actually produce the outcome that Drucker indicates (creating a customer). Marketing that strives to be consistantly innovative (and always technology enabled). Relevant and interactive marketing communications to burst through the clutter, to reach the right potential customer, and to really understand the "when" moment.