By the 1950s, many larger companies were sporting entire marketing departments charged with devising and implementing marketing strategies that would complement, and even direct, overall operations. Since the 1970s, the primary marketing trend has been a greater focus on providing benefits, rather than products, to customers.

Marketing is often talked as a matter of common sense. But mind it that common sense is the most uncommon. Common sense tells us marketing is less necessary when demand exceeds supply.

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But it is wrong. Marketing pays off best when demand exceeds supply. Often a housewife goes to market and she says she had gone for marketing, a farmer goes to sell his produce in the mandi and he says he had gone for marketing, an ad agency prepares a copy of an ad and says it was busy with marketing, a market research agency surveys market and says it was doing marketing, a retailer is a distributor for a large manufacturer and it says it was involved into marketing, and so on and so forth. In fact all of them are in marketing business but doing only part of the total marketing job.

The concept of marketing is neither complicated nor original. ‘Customer is the king’, ‘customer comes first,’ or ‘customer is always right’ has been in use since business began. Marketing has been an important business for decades.

Marketing dates back to the era of bartering. Thus we do not agree with those who call it a relatively new phenomenon. We do agree that of late, it has developed into a management discipline (a new discipline as such) and overall business philosophy, which in its totality is referred to as ‘Marketing’. Marketing is neither a modern form of selling, nor a substitute of advertising.

Marketing is not getting its proper share in business. “Even now, top executives view marketing as a hit-or-miss vocation without any deep capabilities, thanks partly to marketing education. Business schools continue to organise themselves by functional departments, whereas most businesses have become cross-functional.”

There are several definitions of marketing in currency, and each one suffers from some weaknesses: a universally agreed definition of what marketing is has not yet been achieved.