Tag Archives: definition of marketing

World Social Marketing Conference (Post Event Reflection)

I have to admit to still being somewhere between Cloud 9 and a state of shock over the sheer intensity of the conference, and my successes at the Conference.  Oxford Room

The Good

First and foremost, a massive thank you to TCP and to the National Social Marketing Centre for the event.  I had the honour of working in with the two teams by running the WSMC twitter account.  I owe a massive debt of thanks to Patrick Ladbury at the NSMC for letting me set up and run the WSMC twitter account.  Thank you.  It’s a tribute to you and the Centre that I was able to come into the picture at the last moment and just slot into the framework.

The Brilliant

Philip Kotler.  This man is one of the most seriously impressive people I’ve had the honour to meet, and to hear him talk about social marketing in person is an amazing privilege. This man is a living legend in the marketing business, and a genuine icon of the commercial marketing sector.  He was there at the opening of the conference, and was present and participating throughout the entire process. I know many key note speakers fly in, speak, and fly out.  He was there in the sessions, listening, learning and observing the progress of the discipline he helped build from a great idea to powerful social force.


Kotler, P, Dann, S and Dann, S (2008) Social Marketing Conference Photo, World Social Marketing Championships, Brighton
Kotler, P, Dann, S and Dann, S (2008) Social Marketing Conference Photo, World Social Marketing Championships, Brighton

I have a signed copy of the Kotler and Lee (2008) Social Marketing text, and I was lucky (and bold) enough to be photographed with Kotler, and have my photo taken with Nancy Lee (my social marketing icon).

Lee, N and Dann, S (2008) Social Marketing World Championship Dinner, Brighton

Lee, N and Dann, S (2008) Social Marketing World Championship Dinner, Brighton

The Downright Astonishing

I was named as one of the 18 senior social marketing figures.  The conference held a lunch time breakout session to have “Lunch with senior social marketeers”.  The list of names of the Social Marketing “Team of the Century” (as I’ve taken to calling it)

  • Clarence Room – Philip Kotler & Nancy Lee
  • Sandringham Room – Bill Smith & Seynabou Mbengue
  • Osborne – Rob Donovan & Tane Cassidy
  • Lancaster Room – Gerard Hastings & Alan Andreasen
  • Edinburgh Room – Francois Lagarde & Jeff French
  • Ambassador Room – Sue Peattie & Doug McKenzie Mohr
  • Library – Craig Lefebvre & Katherine Lyon Daniel
  • Surrey Room – Stephen Dann & Ray Lowry
  • Gloucester Room – Sameer Deshpande & Juan Manuel Urrutia

I am honoured and humbled to be in the same line up as these icons of the business.  I was affectionately referring to the conference as the World Championships of Social Marketing, and I think I can comfortably say I walked out of the event with a title belt and a baggy green cap as part of the World Championship squad.

The Future

This conference involved me staking a major bet on the production of a new definition of social marketing which paid serious dividends.  The full paper based on the conference presentation has provisionally been accepted into the Journal of Business Research with no changes.  There’s interest in the methodology used in the paper from another journal.  People were literally screencapping the definition with digital cameras. This was the biggest event of my career, and one of the most amazing days of my life to stand before peers, icons and idols, and put a legitimate claim on defining the meaning of social marketing.

There’s much more to recap and write up from the event for the next few days. For now, I’ll just settle with being extremely honoured and humbled to be part of an amazing event.

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Brief Commentary on AMA 2007 Definition of Marketing

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 Slideshare.net

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, stephendann.com