What is “Marketing” – Really?

by smartamarketing

Whilst there are many definitions of marketing, all definitions focus primarily on customer orientation and satisfaction of customer needs.  

…the marketing concept is a philosophy of business which states that the customer’s  want of satisfaction is the economic and social justification of a firm’s existence.  Consequently, all firm activities in production, engineering and finance, as well as in marketing, must be devoted first to determining what the customer’s wants are and then to satisfying those wants. (Stanton 1975).

It is the customer who determines what a business is.  It is the customer alone whose willingness to pay for a good or service converts economic resources into wealth, things into goods.  What the business thinks it produces is not of first importance -– especially not to the future of the business and to its success… What the customer thinks he/she is buying, what he/she considers value, is decisive – it determines what a business is, what it produces and whether it will prosper.” (Peter Drucker 1955)

The core concept of marketing is the transaction.  A transaction is the exchange of values between two parties.  The things – of value need not be limited to goods, services and money; they include other resources such as time, energy and feelings.  Transactions occur not only between buyers and sellers and organisations and clients, but also between any two parties.  Marketing is specifically concerned with how transactions are created, stimulated, facilitated and valued.  This is the generic concept of marketing…” (Kotler P., 1972)

The Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand says:

The marketing concept is a way a business thinks about doing business – a business philosophy. It makes the customer and the satisfaction of their needs, the focal point of all business activities – in order to not only make a sale, or a quick profit, but to create a customer who will come back and bring people with him (or her)

Marketing is a philosophy and a process involving all the activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchange intended to satisfy human motivation (needs and wants)

Marketing is essentially about effectively managing the resources of an organisation so that they meet the (changing) needs of the target segment (the customer) on whom the organisation depends, in a way that best satisfies the objectives of that organisation.

Marketing consists of individual and organisational activities that facilitate and expedite satisfying value exchange relationships through the creation, delivery, promotion and pricing of value propositions.

In this definition, an exchange is the provision or transfer of Products (goods, services and ideas) in return for something of value (Payment – like money, but there is more to payment).  Any product may be involved in a marketing exchange.  The assumption is only that individuals and organisations expect to gain a reward in excess of the costs incurred.
These ideas apply to all forms of marketing – including marketing using Social Media