7 November 2004

New Definition of Marketing

What a nice surprise! The American Marketing Association has presented their new definition of the discipline of marketing. You can read more about it in this article, AMA REDEFINES MARKETING: SURPRISE -- IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMER By Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D.

They acknowledge that engaging in relationship with the customer is the core focus in marketing. About time! Now how long do you think it will take to convince business units that a relationship with their customers is top of the list?

"The American Marketing Association is a respected organization of 38,000 members that has been around for more than six decades. Many in the industry see it as setting the standards of marketing practices and education.

The previous AMA definition of marketing, active since 1985, was:
"Marketing is the process of planning and executing conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of goods, ideas and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals."

The new definition of marketing, unveiled at the AMA's Summer Educator's Conference in August is:
"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."

Jack Hollfelder, Senior Director of Publishing, American Marketing Association, describes the definition change as moving from a transaction orientation to one that focuses on the customer. "Technology and marketing have been changing quite rapidly over the last five to 10 years.
The 1985 definition was not encompassing enough. The new definition more clearly infuses the customer into marketing."

Adam Herman, Senior Vice President and Integrated Media Director at ad agency Beyond Interactive, says that the new definition is a reflection of what's already being done. "The new AMA definition of marketing is very appropriate for most brands, in that marketing should be customer-centric, and not brand-centric," he says. "This renewed focus on the customer, which successful brands have been doing anyway for years, puts the proper emphasis on the group that has the real power in the sales equation -- those that buy the products, not the sellers."

Jeff Weiner, head of the Relationship Marketing Research Practice within Measurement Strategy Consulting at Carlson Marketing Group, sees the AMA definition as a major shift in acknowledging the power of the customer. "The new focus is now on 'managing customer relationships,' which is a huge shift from the previous definition," he says.

Now, let's see if those of us involved in marketing here in Europe can actually convince our clients that the customer is King!

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