What Is Marketing? The AMA's Definition

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  • Monday, February 28, 2011
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  • Michael G. Isinger
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  • It's the American Marketing Association (AMA) that regularily updates a definition of marketing. The latest was published in 2008. According to the AMA,
    "Marketing is 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."
    Nancy Costopulos, AMA's Chief Marketing Officer, added to this definition the following:
    "Marketing is no longer a function--it is an educational process."
    By adding that, she was referring to the 2004 definition, which stated that
    "Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders."
    Note the change that definition went through in only four years. The first definition was by the way published in 1935 by the National Association of Marketing Teachers:
    "[Marketing is] the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producers to consumers."
    Amazing, this evolution of the meaning of a word. The next update is due in 2012. What do you think, what will be the changes and how big will they be?

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