Definitions of Marketing

Some definitions of marketing

There are several formal definitions of marketing and hundreds of informal definitions of this concept, but the simplest way to define marketing is: to satisfy customers’ needs in a profitable manner for the organization.

According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is:

“the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for consumers, clients, partners and society at large".

In this definition we can clearly see that marketing is an ongoing activity, designed to meet customer needs, as well as creating value for the organization and its customers and its other stakeholders.

Let’s now look at the definition of marketing according to Philip Kotler:

“Marketing management is the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value".

This marketing definition adds the importance of customer relationships by defining the scope of marketing as a “getting, keeping and growing customers.” You should note that the concept of “customer value” is continued, as is “creating, delivering and communicating value”. Therefore, these two definitions are quite similar in that respect.

Broadening the Scope of Marketing

Marketing definitions have tended to be broadened in recent years. Shifting primarily from a company-consumer-competitor dynamic to now include social and environmental dimensions. This is shown in the following marketing definition:

“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" (Kotler and Armstrong).

An well-established business perspective

We will conclude this set of definitions with Baker’s statement on marketing:

“The enigma of marketing is that it is one of the man’s oldest activities and yet it is regarded as the most recent of business disciplines". Source link.

This final quote from Baker is an interesting perspective. Obviously, humans have been trading and selling goods between their societies and between individuals for thousands of years, yet as a formal business profession it really is only emerged in the last 50 years or so.