Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Definitions of Marketing

Definitions of Marketing

Definition of Marketing - What is Marketing

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 opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate actions; monitor performance; and improve understanding of it as a process. It 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

Influencer Marketing

This focuses on leveraging individuals who have influence over potential buyers and orienting activities around these individuals to drive a brand message to the larger market.

With this, a brand inspires or compensates influencers (which can include celebrities, content creators, customer advocates, and employees) to get the word out on their behalf.

New research from the Journal of Marketing shows that internal relationships among employees and managers determines sales performance.

Relationship Marketing

According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), relationship marketing refers to strategies and tactics for segmenting consumers to build loyalty.

Relationship marketing leverages database marketing, behavioral advertising and analytics to target consumers precisely and create loyalty programs. 

Viral Marketing

A phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along an advertising 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.[1]

Green Marketing

Refers to the development and promotion 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.

Keyword Marketing

Involves placing a message in front of users based on the specific keywords and phrases they are using to search.[1]

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, this method 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 strategy intended to get maximum results from minimal resources.

Outbound Marketing

In this, 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

Inbound is when customers initiate contact with the marketer in response to various methods used to gain their attention. These methods include email, events, content and web design.

One purpose of inbound, is to establish the business as a source for valuable information and solutions to problems, thereby fostering customer trust and loyalty.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of developing a marketing/technical plan to improve visibility within one or more search engines. Typically, this consists of two elements.

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. [2]

Note: When SEO is used to describe an individual, it stands for search engine optimizer.

Content Marketing

A technique of creating and distributing valuablerelevant 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), it 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. 

The 4 Ps

Product

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.

Price

Price is the formal ratio that indicates the quantity of money, goods, or services needed to acquire a given quantity of goods or services.

It is the amount a customer must pay to acquire a product

Place (or Distribution)

Distribution refers to the act of carrying products to consumers. It is also used to describe the extent of market coverage for a given product.

In the 4 Ps, distribution is represented by place or placement.

Promotion

Promotion includes tactics that encourage short-term purchase, influence trial and quantity of purchase, and are very measurable in volume, share and profit.

Examples include couponssweepstakes, rebates, premiums, special packaging, cause-related marketing and licensing.


Visit the Marketing Dictionary for additional definitions.


2017 Panel

  • 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

Keep Reading

  • Article

    By Peter J. Danaher The internet has enabled many business developments, but it has turned media allocation and planning on its head. In traditional mass media like television, advertisers can purchase a commercial slot and expect large audiences. However, many of those reached are not interested in the advertised product or service, so a large […]