72 Definition of Marketing

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What is Marketing?
Marketing comes in a wide variety of flavors based on audience, media platform and business in today’s evolving and dynamic marketplace. Therefore, it’s no surprise that marketers define what they do differently. Inspired by the 31 PR Definitions article, here’s a roundup of seventy-two marketing definitions by experienced practitioners across different specialties. Marketing Definitions

To start, here are explanations from the American Marketing Association (AMA), marketing’s professional organization, and Dr. Philip Kotler, the author of business school marketing classics. They’re followed by the other definitions in alphabetical order by author’s last name.

1. According to the American Marketing Association (AMA) Board of Directors, 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.

2. Dr. Philip Kotler defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.  Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.”

3. Marketing is the messages and/or actions that cause messages and/or actions. Jay Baer – President, Convince & Convert. Author with Amber Naslund of The Now Revolution

4. Marketing is traditionally the means by which an organization communicates to, connects with, and engages its target audience to convey the value of and ultimately sell its products and services.  However, since the emergence of digital media, in particular social media and technology innovations, it has increasingly become more about companies building deeper, more meaningful and lasting relationships with the people that they want to buy their products and services. The ever-increasingly fragmented world of media complicates marketers’ ability connect and, at the same, time presents incredible opportunity to forge new territory. Julie Barile – Vice President of eCommerce, Fairway Market

5. Marketing includes research, targeting, communications (advertising and direct mail) and often public relations.  Marketing is to sales as plowing is to planting for a farmer—it prepares an audience to receive a direct sales pitch. Mary Ellen Bianco – Director Marketing & Communications, Getzler Henrich & Associates LLC

6. Marketing is an ongoing communications exchange with customers in a way that educates, informs and builds a relationship over time. The over time part is important because only over time can trust be created. With trust, a community builds organically around products and services and those customers become as excited about the products as you are — they become advocates, loyal evangelists, repeat customers and often, friends. Marketing is a really great way to identify what grabs people and gets them excited about your brand and give it to them, involve them in the process, and yeah, the best part, build great friendships in the process. Renee Blodgett – Chief Executive Officer/Founder, Magic Sauce Media

7. Professor Philip Kotler explained that marketing was “meeting the needs of your customer at a profit.” For me that definition extends beyond just communicating product features. Marketers are responsible for a 360-degree experience. For example, in the social media world, a customer’s Twitter needs may differ from her needs to “play with the brand” in terms of a social game promotion. Every customer touchpoint from customer service to sales to accounting and more are part of the “new marketing.” Toby Bloomberg – Bloomberg Marketing/Diva Marketing

8. Marketing when done well is (a) the strategy of the business – its value proposition, go...
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