What is Marketing? Tutorial

In the first section of our highly detailed Principles of Marketing Tutorials we lay the groundwork for our study of the field of marketing with a close look at marketing’s key concepts and the important tasks marketers perform. We will see that marketing encompasses a wide array of business decisions that are essential to the success of nearly all organizations.

Coverage in this part of the tutorial includes a close examination of the definition of marketing. A dissection of the key terms in the definition will show that marketing’s primary focus is to identify and satisfy customers in a way that helps build a solid and, hopefully, sustained relationship that encourages customers to continue doing business with the marketer.

We also will spend a short time on the history of marketing and see how it has evolved from a process centered on simply getting as many people as possible to purchase a product to today’s highly complex efforts designed to build long term customer relationships. Additionally, we’ll see that marketing is not only important to individual organizations it also carries both positive and negative influences at a broader societal level. Finally, we look at the key characteristics that define successful marketers.

Definition of Marketing

Our starting point for learning about marketing is to begin with the basics and that starts with defining marketing. Since marketing has been an important part of business for a long time we could consult one of the many hundreds of books written on the subject to locate a definition. Or, as is more the custom today, we could search the Internet to see how marketing is defined. Whether we search print or electronic form we will find that marketing is defined in many different ways.

Some definitions focus on marketing in terms of what it means to an organization, such as being the key functional area for generating revenue, while other definitions lean more toward defining marketing in terms of its most visible tasks, such as advertising and creating new products.

There probably is no one best way to define marketing, however, whatever definition is used should have an orientation that focuses on the key to marketing success – customers.

For the purpose of this tutorial we will define marketing as follows:

Marketing consists of the strategies and tactics used to identify, create, and maintain satisfying relationships with customers resulting in value for both the customer and the marketer.