What Is Marketing?
The AMA’s definitions of marketing and marketing research are reviewed and reapproved/modified every three years by a panel of five scholars who are active researchers.
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. (Approved 2017)
Definition of Marketing Research
Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information—information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications. (Approved 2017)
Definition of Brand
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
ISO brand standards add that a brand “is an intangible asset” that is intended to create “distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefit/values.”
Types of Marketing
According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), influencer marketing focuses on leveraging individuals who have influence over potential buyers and orienting marketing activities around these individuals to drive a brand message to the larger market.
In influencer marketing, rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, a brand inspires or compensates influencers (which can include celebrities, content creators, customer advocates, and employees) to get the word out on their behalf.
According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), relationship marketing refers to strategies and tactics for segmenting consumers to build loyalty.
Viral marketing is a marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message.
Nicknamed “viral” because the number of people exposed to a message mimics the process of passing a virus or disease from one person to another.
Green marketing refers to the development and marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe (i.e., designed to minimize negative effects on the physical environment or to improve its quality).
This term may also be used to describe efforts to produce, promote, package, and reclaim products in a manner that is sensitive or responsive to ecological concerns.
A key advantage of this method is that it gives marketers the ability to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. For many marketers, keyword marketing results in the placement of an ad when certain keywords are entered.
Note that in SEO, this term refers to achieving top placement in the search results themselves.
Guerilla marketing describes an unconventional and creative marketing strategy intended to get maximum results from minimal resources.
Outbound marketing is a newer term for traditional marketing coined when the term inbound marketing came into popular use.
In outbound marketing, the marketer initiates contact with the customer through methods such as TV, radio and digital display advertising. It is often used to influence consumer awareness and preference for a brand.
Inbound marketing is marketing in which customers initiate contact with the marketer in response to various methods used to gain their attention. These methods include email marketing, event marketing, content marketing and web design.
One purpose of inbound marketing, which includes content marketing, is to establish the business as a source for valuable information and solutions to problems, thereby fostering customer trust and loyalty.
Search Engine Optimization
On a technical side, SEO refers to ensuring that a website can be indexed properly by the major search engines and includes the use of the proper keywords, content, code, and links.
On the marketing side, SEO refers to the process of targeting specific keywords where the site should “win” in searches. This can be done by modifying a website to score well in the algorithms search engines use to determine rank, or by purchasing placement with individual keywords. Often, SEO programs are a blend of several elements and strategies. 
Note: When SEO is used to describe an individual, it stands for search engine optimizer.
Content marketing is a technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), content marketing involves various methods to tell the brand story. More and more marketers are evolving their advertising to content marketing/storytelling to create more stickiness and emotional bonding with the consumer.
4 Ps of Marketing
A product is defined as a bundle of attributes (features, functions, benefits, and uses) capable of exchange or use, usually a mix of tangible and intangible forms.
Thus a product may be an idea, a physical entity (goods), or a service, or any combination of the three. It exists for the purpose of exchange in the satisfaction of individual and organizational objectives.
While the term “products and services” is occasionally used, product is a term that encompasses both goods and services.
Place (or Distribution)
In the 4 Ps, distribution is represented by place or placement.
According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), promotion marketing includes tactics that encourage short-term purchase, influence trial and quantity of purchase, and are very measurable in volume, share and profit.
Visit the Marketing Dictionary for additional definitions.
- Bernard Jaworski, Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management and the Liberal Arts, Claremont Graduate University
- Richard Lutz, J.C. Penney Professor of Marketing, University of Florida
- Greg W. Marshall, Charles Harwood Professor of Marketing and Strategy, Rollins College
- Linda Price, Philip H. Knight Chair and Professor of Marketing, University of Oregon
- Rajan Varadarajan, University Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Marketing and Ford Chair in Marketing & E-Commerce, Texas A&M University