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Hanken School of Economics Working Papers, Hanken School of Economics

No 514:
On Defining Marketing: An Analysis of the Updated AMA Definition and an Alternative

Christian Grönroos ()

Abstract: American Marketing Association has updated its marketing definition, including value and customer relationships in the new definition. In the present article the underpinning logic of the updated definition is analysed. It is concluded that although it still dominates the management and marketing literature, the value concept used in the definition is based on a view of how value is created for customers that can be challenged. Moreover, managing customer relationships has not been studied extensively enough and so it is too early to include this concept in a generic definition of marketing. It is not clear what this phrase really means and whether all customers and all firms always want a relationship or would benefit from a relationship with the other party. In addition, seeing marketing as an organizational function is too limited a view for making marketing effective for other solutions than standardized products. Drawing on the analysis of the elements of the updated definition a set of propositions regarding the scope and content of a marketing definition are developed. Finally, based on the analysis and this set of propositions an alternative marketing definition is suggested and its implications for research and marketing practice are discussed.

Keywords: marketing definition; marketing theory; (follow links to similar papers)

32 pages, September 13, 2006

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