Definition of Marketing

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Most people think that marketing is only about the advertising and selling of goods and services. Advertising and selling, however, are just two of the many marketing activities. In other words, selling and advertising is only the tip of the marketing iceberg. They are not the most important ones because of the change in marketing philosophy.

Today, marketing must be understood not in the old sense of making a sale- “telling and selling”but in the new sense of satisfying customer needs. If a marketer does a good job of understanding customer needs; develops products that provide superior value; and prices, distributes and promotes them effectively, these products will sell very easily. Thus, selling and advertising are only part of a marketing mix.

In general, marketing activities are all those associated with identifying the wants and needs of a target market of customers, and then going about satisfying those customers better than the competitors. This involves doing marketing research on customers, analyzing their needs and then making strategic decisions about product design, pricing, promotion, and distribution. Thus, marketing deals with identifying and meeting human and social needs.

According to Philip Kotler & Kevin Lane Keller, “Marketing is a societal process by which; individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering, and freely exchanging products and services of value with others.”

According to Boone and Kurtz, “Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods services, organizations and events to create and maintain relationships that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives.

According to Chartered Institute of Marketing, “Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably’.

According to Stanton, Etzel & Walker, “Marketing is a total system of business activities designed to plan, price promote and distribute want satisfying products to target markets in order to achieve organizational objectives.”

According to Kotler, Armstrong and Opresnik, “Marketing is a process by which companies engage customers, build strong customer relationships and create customers value in order to capture value from customers in return.

According to American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

This is the latest definition of marketing approved by the American Marketing Association Board of Directors. It was approved ‘by American Marketing Association in July 2013. Previously, marketing was defined by American Marketing Association as the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.

From the above definitions what we can say is customers’ wants must be recognized and satisfied. The entire system of business activities should be customer-oriented. Marketing should start with an idea about a want-satisfying product and should not end until the customers’ wants are completely satisfied, which may be some time after the exchange is made. Thus, in conclusion, marketing is meeting needs profitably.

Keeping in view the definitions of marketing, some important aspects of modern marketing can be distinguished:

  1. Marketing is a societal process.
  2. Marketing deals with customer needs, wants, products, pricing, distribution, and promotion.
  3. Marketing focuses on delivering value and satisfaction to customers through products, services, ideas, etc.
  4. Marketing facilitates satisfying exchange relationships.
  5. Marketing takes place in a dynamic environment.
  6. Marketing is used in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
  7. Marketing is extremely important to businesses and the economy of a country.

In conclusion, marketing is the process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to capture value from the customer in return.

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