What is marketing? - London Marketing Academy

12 Aug
What is marketing

“Gearing the business to be responsive to customer needs” – B. Charles Ames, Harvard Business Review, 1970


Marketing as a discipline gained strength in the 1960s and 1970s. In its early days, marketing was thought of as an extension of selling, as achieved by advertising in consumer goods and by personal salesmanship in industrial goods and services. Most marketing managers were former advertising or sales people, and creative advertising copy and layouts, call reports, and / or sales forecasts were the dominant marketing tools.

For a long time, marketing was considered to be an art practiced only by those who possessed an unusual blend of creativity, intuition, and inspiration. But with the vast improvement in market search and other analytical techniques, marketing has become more of an analytical science which utilizes logic, systematic data analysis, and synthesis in dealing with the subtle and complex variables present in today’s market place.

We have long outgrown the notion that marketing is synonymous with advertising and promotion and have understood that marketing is the function that primarily determines what the product or service will be, how it will be presented, promoted and distributed to customers and kept useful to them, and how it will be priced.


“Marketing is a line activity; to be effective, it must permeate the company.” – Eduard G. Michaels, Business Horizons, 1982


Beyond this, we are beginning to recognize marketing as an integrative function – a view of serving customers that drives the entire organization’s way of doing business and influences decisions along the full range of business activities.

Marketing seeks to cause changes by doing something new in products, channels, pricing, market selection and focus, advertising and promotion, and/ or service. Market-focused companies are sensitive to the marketplace and anticipate shifts. They experiment with strategic responses and remain flexible.

In more recent times, marketing is seen and defined as a series of steps or operations. Analysis, planning, implementation, and control collectively provide a process for marketing managers to follow in the design and execution of marketing programs.


“Marketing is 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 goals” – American Marketing Association


Successful marketing programs involve mixing the ingredients of marketing to deliver value to the customers, and marketing is not seen as successful unless two parties exchange something of value. The buyer may exchange time, money or services, while the seller must exchange something of value to the buyer. The key to modern marketing is simultaneously satisfying the customer, the firm, and its shareholders.

Throughout its existence marketing has remained closely connected to the performance of business activities involved in transferring ownership of goods and services from the producer to consumer. In short, marketing gets the product to the right place at the right time, for the right consumer.

Handbook of Modern Marketing, 2ND Edition, Victor P. Buell
Internet Marketing: Building advantage in a network economy, Rafi A. Mohammed, Robert J. Fisher
Basics of Business, David Lewis

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