Marketing Definition: What is Marketing?

by Maximilian Claessens

A simple question, multiple answers. There is not one clear definition of marketing. Instead, marketing can be defined in many ways. We will give you an overall marketing definition.

A general applicable Marketing Definition is:

In essence, marketing is the process by which companies create value for customers and build lasting customer relationships, in order to capture value from customers in return. 

It is all about satisfying customer needs in order to get value back. In other words, it is creating and exchanging value. Therefore, marketing aims to understand customer needs, to develop the right products that provide superiour customer value based on these needs, and to price, distribute and promote the products effectively. Finally, value can be captured from the customer in return.

Many people think that marketing is only the bulk of ads on TV screens, in magazines or the sales calls and mails you get each day. But that would be an incomplete, lop-sided marketing definition. But marketing is more than that. It is more than just blasting out messages to the masses, more than advertising and selling. What marketing really aims for today is reaching you directly and personally. Modern marketing tries to become part of your life, aims to make you live the brand marketed. And for that, more is needed than just advertising and selling, which is only the “tip of the iceberg”. Selling and advertising are only one piece of a large set of marketing tools, the marketing mix, that all need to work together in order to satisfy customer needs and build strong relationships.