The Problem With Definitions

It appears the American Marketing Association has attempted to redefine marketing. Their new definition is 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.

There’s been quite a backlash to it in the blogosphere, from complaints that nobody really talks like that, to it being purely academic, to it being purely crapola.

The problem with trying to redefine marketing is that it is constantly redefining itself. It really doesn’t need our help, and like one of the bloggers linked to above mentions, most marketers develop their own definition that suits what marketing needs to be for their company.

In addition, definitions in general will most often fall short. They are purely academic, and tend to water down what something really is. Only experiencing the thing being defined actually creates the beginning of understanding.

Personally, I’m not crazy about the definition, but I don’t really expect much of it, either. What do you think?

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