What is marketing? It may be difficult to answer this term, which is widely used in business and as an academic discipline, in a few words. Marketing has always been evolving as definitions, theories, and ideas have changed over time. Even today, the meaning and methods of marketing activities are changing with the development of the Internet and the spread of social media. In this article, we will look at what marketing means in the modern age and how to conduct specific activities.
Definitions of Marketing
In 1990, the Japan Marketing Association defined marketing as “the comprehensive activities for market creation undertaken by companies and other organizations from a global perspective, through mutual understanding with customers, and through fair competition.”
The 2007 American Marketing Association definition states, “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.”
Philip Kotler, a management scholar, is regarded as the “father of modern marketing,” and he left various words to spread an understanding of the essence of marketing. Here are some of his words.
“Marketing is management itself, and the ultimate goal is to make consumers love your company.”
“Marketing’s role is to transform the ever-changing needs of people into profitable opportunities.”
“Marketing should not focus on selling, but rather on developing products that are so attractive that selling is unnecessary.”
Although there are many definitions of marketing, as a whole, marketing is “a generic term for corporate activities that efficiently provide products and services that meet customer needs to appropriate targets.”
What are marketing activities?
Marketing activities are all about ①creating customer value, ②communicating it to consumers, and ③persuading them. Many people may imagine marketing as only market research, analysis, and reporting work. Today, however, marketing encompasses the entire process from the creation of products and services, to attracting and selling customers, and then to after-sales service and customer support.
The following is an example of what marketing activities specifically mean in terms of ①creating customer value and ②communicating it to consumers. For example, if we replace the activities of a media company, creating services to meet new needs by having the editorial department think of articles with content that meets the needs of readers, providing useful functions through UI development, or providing articles that are easier to read by editing features, etc. is ①creating customer value. Increasing media exposure by improving inflow from natural search, e-mail newsletters, and SNS, as well as by placing advertisements, constitutes ②communicating to consumers. Promoting free membership registration and paid billing for services will ③persuade them that it is a good deal and a benefit.
In this way, it can be said that marketing today does not consist solely of the activities of a specific marketing department, but that all department personnel is exposed to some form of marketing and play a part in marketing activities.
These marketing activities are subdivided into various categories. Editorial marketing includes content marketing, and public relations marketing includes social networking marketing. In this way, marketing activities are segmented according to the media to which they are exposed and the content of the media, and each method is combined to form today’s marketing.