Do You Know The New Definition of Marketing?

The American Marketing Association has revised the definition of marketing.You may have recognised, that in the past few years, the way which we communicate, share ideas and exchange value has dramatically changed.

People are discounting messages they encounter through the media, more than ever and marketers are forced to interact with customers on a wide variety of different channels. This, combined with the newfound power of individuals through social media, has called for a new definition to serve marketing practitioners and academics more appropriately.

Recently I was contacted by Christine Heath on behalf of the American Marketing Association and informed of a revision of the definition of marketing. It definitely piqued my curiosity, so I decided to take a look and see what changes they had made to the 2004 definition and what it means for us all.

Here is the AMA’s new definition of marketing:

“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.”

This is in contrast to the 2004 definition which states 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.”

What Does This Mean For YOU?

It recognises that marketing is an activity that both you as an individual and organisations can use. This is an important revelation for individuals who market websites or those involved in personal branding, such as Dan Schawbel. Basically, this stresses the importance that everyone should have some understanding of marketing, as influential members of society and businesses which serve each others’ needs.

You can think of it as being another step in openning marketing up to the masses and working the perception that we’re not just about advertising and promotion. Marketing is about exchanging value.

Although a bit late, keeping abreast of changes like these are always useful as sorts of rudders, steering you in the right direction.

Is This Definition Correct?

Marketing Power, the offcial blog of the American Marketing Association, has openned up for discussion about the new definition, so feel free to air your thoughts about the changes, here or at their site.

Robert Kingston

Robert Kingston works as an online marketing consultant at New Business Media, a boutique Australian web agency.

He maintains several of his own sites and has worked with Yaro Starak on various projects. Robert has an understanding of blogging, search engine optimisation, search marketing and new web technologies. In particular, he is very interested in how the internet can be used for marketing.

Feel free to contact Robert Kingston through his site.

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Comments

  1. ChowMunga! says:

    Interesting commentary. I think that any business owner or website owner has to realize that all of their personal actions contribute to their business brand and image. So, I think it is appropriate that the definition of marketing now includes the activities performed by individuals in regards to personal branding. For many businesses the personal brand is synonymous with the business brand (in particular for blog owners).

  2. This is really interesting Rob. It sounds like the AMA are acknowledging the powerful impact of the Web 2.0 culture.

    There’s been a definite shift in perception. The ‘benefit’ of the offering appears to have taken centre stage. Therefore, those businesses that view the nature of their business as participatory and beneficial will thrive.

    It’s almost like we used to see customers/clients and business owner/stakeholders as two teams playing on the field. Now we see them as members of the same team.

  3. The future of Marketing will be vastly different from what it is now. Marketing from 5 years ago is not even close to now. Business, people, and “the internet” will have to constantly change to reach the ever learning and evolving target audience. The scammers will get better and the customers will get smarter. Perhaps marketing should simplify and address the customers needs.

  4. I think the customer centric view of marketing has been around for much longer than you think. Although if you’re talking about business on the internet I can fully agree.

    I find a lot of internet businesses have their eye purely on the money. Whilst they do make a buck or two, they’re not exactly creating raving fans of their brands. So, 2-3 years down the track, they’ll be kaput. It’s like a natural evolution of business.

    As Danielle said, business and customer needs have converged as though we’re all playing on the same team.