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What is Marketing?

Author: Jim Riley  Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012

What is marketing?

There are many different definitions of marketing. Consider some of the following alternative definitions:

“The all-embracing function that links the business with customer needs and wants in order to get the right product to the right place at the right time”

“The achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition”

“The management process that identifies, anticipates and supplies customer requirements efficiently and profitably”

“Marketing may be defined as a set of human activities directed at facilitating and consummating exchanges”

Which definition is right? In short, they all are. They all try to embody the essence of marketing:

• Marketing is about meeting the needs and wants of customers;

• Marketing is a business-wide function – it is not something that operates alone from other business activities;

• Marketing is about understanding customers and finding ways to provide products or services which customers demand

To help put things into context, you may find it helpful to often refer to the following diagram which summarises the key elements of marketing and their relationships:

Overview of the marketing process






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