American Marketing Association suggests that Marketing is the process
of planning and executing the pricing, promotion, and distribution of
goods, ideas, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual
and organizational goals. Another definition, perhaps simpler and more
universal, is that marketing is the process of moving people closer to
making a decision to purchase, use, follow, refer, upload, download, obey,
reject, conform, become complacent to another person's, society's or organization's
value. Simply, if it doesn't facilitate a "sale" then it is not marketing.
Prior to the advent of market research, most companies were product-focused,
employing teams of salespeople to push their products into or onto the
market, regardless of market desire. A market-focused, or customer-focused,
organization instead first determines what its potential customers really
want, and then builds that product or service. Marketing theory and practice
is justified on the belief that customers use a product/service because
they have a need, or because a product/service has a perceived benefit.