Brief Commentary on AMA 2007 Definition of Marketing

By | February 7, 2008

The new definition reads as follows:

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.” (AMA 2007).

I’ve been writing about it fairly extensively recently (and most of that writing is in a review queue at journals somewhere), and in particular, how it shapes up against the AMA 2004 definition. What can I say? I like it. Even if it continued the tradition of new AMA definitions being launched just as I publish a book based on the previous version.

What I like:

  • It’s a robust approach to what marketing is, and can aspire to become and more inclusive than AMA (2004)
  • The mixture of “activities, institutions and processes” provides a wide tool kit and a platform for the inclusion of much of the rest of the marketing suite from philosophy to market orientation and back again.
  • The comprehensive sweep over the targets with “customers, clients, partners and society” with the shout out to social marketing, political marketing, non profit and the rest of the non commercial marketing sub disciplines with the “clients” reference.
  • The new marketing mix (as I’ve taken to calling the quad pack) of “create, communicate, deliver and exchange”.
  • I get to write about the definition, even if I did have to release an emergency patch to my textbook

Points to consider

1. Where’s the benefit flow? I’m working on the presumption that I can expand “partners” to include stakeholders within the marketing organisation, and, digging deeper, can use the “exchanging offerings of value” to include cash, brands, relationships and loyalty.

2. What happened to planning as a part? Is it under the “processes, institutions and activities” umbrella? Or did the AMA (1985) framework “the process of planning and executing” feel too much like marketing management for the modern era?


It’s a big upgrade from the AMA (2004), and a robust looking definition that’s only had a scarce few weeks to find its feet, and already looks to be able to handle most of the task of defining marketing for what it is, should be, and will become in the future

Detailed coverage

Dann and Dann (2007) Chapter 16: AMA (2007) and the new direction of marketing, Competitive Marketing Strategy, Pearson, Australia

Dann (2007) Life and Death of Marketing, ANZMAC Presentation, Hosted at

Dann, S (2007) The Life and Death of Marketing, Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference, University of Otago, Dec 3-5

Dann, S (2007) Difference between the American Marketing Definitions,