Marketing 101 By Frank J. Romano The definition moves from a transaction orientation to a customer-focused orientation. December 13, 2004 -- The American Marketing Association updated its definition of marketing to put a stronger emphasis on customer relationships. The last time they changed the definition was 1985. The AMA has 38,000 members and was formed in 1945. It sets the standards for marketing practices and education. The previous AMA definition of marketing was: "Marketing is the process of planning and executing conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of goods, ideas, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals." It essentially meant meeting (satisfying) customer needs--satisfaction oriented. The new definition of marketing is: "Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders." Marketing is now about managing (benefiting) customer relationships --value oriented. The definition moves from a transaction orientation to a customer-focused orientation. The AMA believes that marketing should be customer-centric--not brand-centric--and that marketers should put the emphasis on those individuals with the real power in the sales equation--those who buy the products, not the sellers of those products. The Internet evolved without the experience base that print held. It had to create new measurement tools to prove itself. Now, those tools, or derivatives, are being applied to print. It is important for sales folks to know what marketing folks do, and marketing management needs to know the challenges the sales force faces. Tools are now available to measure print, CRM, and e-mail campaigns, and the new marketing definition will draw further attention to these approaches. It is said that 50 percent of all advertising is wasted. We just do not know which half. Industry experts see the allocation of ad dollars moving toward relevant interactions that provide value to consumers--fancy words for following the value. The big change in marketing will involve measurement. The Internet evolved without the experience base that print held. It had to create new measurement tools to prove itself. Now, those tools, or derivatives, are being applied to print. In the past, print never had to justify itself. Its value was assumed. It had a track record and no competitors. Now it has a competitor with a developing track record. This is why printers must extend their expertise into new media services that integrate print in some manner. Our future is a cross-media future.