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What is Marketing?

Last updated: October 2016


What is marketing?

The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.

It has been defined by the American-Marketing-Association (2013) as 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.

The definition  given by the Chartered Institute of Marketing focuses on the aims of marketing, whereas the definition given by the American Marketing Association identifies the methods through which it can achieve its aims (Lancaster and Reynolds, 2004).

Central focus

The central focus of this is about understanding the needs and wants of the customers. Customers’ needs and wants change constantly; and this is where marketing plays a significant role. By carrying out research, a market manager identifies the short and long term requirements of the target audience. This understanding of customers helps companies develop new products and services.

Many products such as audio cassette, fax, tape recorder, floppy disk etc. are not used widely any more. This shows that customers’ requirements have changed and the its oriented companies have responded to those changes. One may question as to why phone companies come up with new phones almost every year. There may be many reasons for that; however the most important one is the efforts of the companies to meet the growing needs and desires of the customers.


Situation analysis, marketing strategy or mix decisions, and implementation are the major stages in the process. Situation analysis is about understanding the external and the internal environment of the business. A number of tools for example, SWOT, PEST, and PESTEL can be used for situational analysis. Its strategy is about making decisions concerning segmentation, targeting and positioning issues. Marketing mix consists of 7P’s namely product, price, place, promotion, process, people, and physical environment. And, finally the plan needs to be implemented and evaluated.

In a nutshell, this is about understanding customers. Companies invest a lot in market research to understand consumer behaviour which eventually helps them formulate their strategies. A good understanding of customers should lead to long-term customer retention and profitability.

Further Reading/References

Lancaster, G. & Reynolds, P. (2004) Marketing, 1st Edition, Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.

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