What is marketing? Many people think of marketing as only selling and advertising. We are bombarded every day with TV commercials, online pitches, catalogs, and spiels from salespeople. However, selling and advertising are only the tip of the marketing iceberg.
Today, marketing must be understood not in the sense of making a sale—“telling and selling”—but in the sense of satisfying customer needs. If the marketer engages consumers effectively, understands their needs, develops products that provide superior customer value, and prices, distributes, and promotes them well, these products will sell easily. In fact, according to management guru Peter Drucker, “The aim of marketing is to make selling unnecessary.”3 Selling and advertising are only part of a larger marketing mix—a set of marketing tools that work together to engage customers, satisfy customer needs, and build customer relationships.
Broadly defined, marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and organizations obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging value with others. In a narrower business context, marketing involves building profitable, value-laden exchange relationships with customers. Hence, we define marketing as the process by which companies engage customers, build strong customer relationships, and create customer value in order to capture value from customers in return.
Marketing DefinedThe process by which companies engage customers, build strong customer relationships, and create customer value in order to capture value from customers in return.