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FÓRUM EMPRESARIAL
Vol. 21 | Núm. 1 | verano 2016
What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
Perception of the Definition of Marketing
Frank Lozada Contreras | Frank_lozada@pucpr.edu
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico
Mari L. Zapata Ramos | maril.zapata@upr.edu
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez
Received: June 23, 2015
Accepted: September 21, 2015
ABSTRACT
Several authors indicate that there is confusion about what marketing is, because
there are multiple definitions and interpretations established in academic
literature. This multiplicity about the conceptualization of marketing complicates
the development of marketing functions and contributes to its decline within
organizations. This study uses content analysis techniques to explore how marketing
managers define the concept of marketing in Puerto Rican companies. The results
show that 16% of managers define it using concepts related to strategic functions,
50% define it using concepts related to marketing tactics, and 28% state that it
reflects both functions.
Keywords: marketing definition, marketing functions, marketing managers
RESUMEN
Varios autores indican que hay confusión acerca de lo que es mercadeo, porque
existen múltiples definiciones e interpretaciones en la literatura académica. Esta
multiplicidad sobre la conceptualización del mercadeo complica el desarrollo de las
funciones de mercadeo y contribuye a su declinación dentro de las organizaciones.
Este estudio utiliza técnicas de análisis de contenido, para explorar cómo los gerentes
de mercadeo definen el concepto de mercadeo en compañías puertorriqueñas. Los
resultados muestran que el 16% de los gerentes lo definen utilizando conceptos
relacionados con funciones estratégicas, el 50% lo definen utilizando conceptos
relacionados con las tácticas de mercadeo y el 28% expresan que refleja ambas
funciones.
Palabras clave: definición de mercadeo, funciones de mercadeo, gerentes de
mercadeo
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The existence of different conceptualizations of marketing theory
and the confusion as to what marketing is and what are its functions
have been proposed (McDonald, 2009). Several authors indicate
that the confusion about the conceptualization of marketing is due
to the multiplicity of definitions and interpretations established
by academic literature (e.g. Bolajoko, Salome, & Sikuade, 2013;
Brooksbank, Davey, & McIntosh, 2010a, 2010b; Gamble, Gilmore,
McCartan, & Durkan, 2011). Literature exposes a debate as to
how broad or specific the definition of marketing should be; for
example, Gronroos (2006) states the definition should be broad or
generic as to include a wide variety of products and contexts (such
as transaction-based marketing or relationship-based marketing).
He established that the “marketing definition has to be somewhat
abstract, without losing its power as a guideline for teaching and
practicing marketing” (p. 397). On the other hand, McDonald
(2009) states that many definitions of marketing are admirable and
correct; however, they provide little direction as to what the term
includes and excludes. This may cause those definitions to be harder
to use in a practical manner. The inconsistent, somewhat abstract,
definitions offered by academics and organizations contribute to a
growing confusion about marketing among marketing professionals
(Brooksbank et al., 2010a, 2010b).
From the perspective of marketing managers, this multiplicity
of definitions and interpretations complicates the development of
marketing within organizations and has contributed to its decline
(Davidson, 2009; McDonald, 2009). It could also be related to the
decline of the functions carried out by the marketing manager
within organizations (McDonald, 2009). Verhoef and Leeflang
(2009) suggest that marketing has lost its strategic importance
within organizations primarily due to the development of
marketing by the marketing manager from a tactical perspective
(product management, pricing, promotion, and place) and not
from a strategic perspective (marketing analysis, selection of
target market, brand positioning strategies for value creation in
consumers). One of the arguments established in literature seeks
to reach a consensus as to the development of an underlying
definition that includes strategic and tactical functions (McDonald,
2009). If the marketing manager finds it difficult to understand
what encompasses marketing, it becomes even more difficult to
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
develop marketing efforts in an organization, given that managers
in other departments may have the same confusion (Webster,
Malter, & Ganesan, 2005).
In the writings of Bolajoko, Salome, and Sikuade (2013),
“the conceptualization and the domain of marketing has been a
contentious issue among academicians and practitioners in the
field of marketing” (p. 56). The authors state that this could lead
to different perspectives as to what is marketing. Webster, Malter,
and Ganesan (2005) have also found differing views of marketing
within organizations.
Since literature has clearly established the multiplicity and
confusion present in the conceptualization of marketing and its
functions, this study seeks to evaluate it using a sample of Puerto
Rican marketing managers. This will help contribute to the ongoing
debate established in literature and within the practice.
Literature Review
The numbers of marketing definitions presented in literature
have led to ambiguity about what marketing is for marketing
managers, senior management and other functional managers. In
2009, McDonald states that although there are many “admirable
and correct” definitions, these definitions provide little guidance
on what to include and exclude in the marketing practice (p. 434).
Literature states that the ambiguity surrounding what is
marketing—because of its multiple definitions—could be causing
confusion among marketing managers that carry out marketing
efforts in organizations (Brooksbank et al., 2010a, 2010b). Previous
research has looked at how the multiple definitions of marketing
have influenced marketing departments; for example, Webster
et al. (2005) conducted in-depth interviews with chief executive
officers (CEOs) and chief marketing officers (CMOs), which
disclosed a general uncertainty among marketing’s definition. One
of the significant findings raised by the authors was the fact that
the definition of marketing tends to be specific to each company,
which is mainly guided by the vision of the CEO; for example, one
of the definitions provided by a CEO was: “I have always defined
marketing as brand management plus sales” (Webster et al., 2005,
p. 36). These senior officers also noted that marketing has moved
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from the advertising and merchandising divisions to be part of
the sales and service divisions; in fact, some marketing executives
tended to equate marketing with sales. Other general comments
from the CEOs and CMOs were that it was difficult to identify
people that conducted specific marketing responsibilities. The
CMOs also agreed that the definition of marketing was an important
situation that needed to be addressed. Finally, they indicated that
the ambiguity that surrounds the concept of marketing makes it
difficult to gain financial support in the organizations because
marketing managers’ responsibilities are unclear.
This confusion about what marketing is within organizations
is also evident in the profusion of titles that those professionals
practicing marketing functions have (McDonald, 2009). Some
examples of the titles that define the position of a marketing
manager are: sales people, copy writers, advertisers, direct
mailers, and market researchers; therefore, the perception of
senior management about marketing could be dictating how the
marketing manager carries out strategic and tactical functions.
The way marketing is defined within organizations may be
limiting the strategic and tactical actions that are executed by
executives. McDonald (2009) states that in practice marketing
is seen as “mismarketing”1 (p. 431) which has resulted in the
degradation of marketing as a promotional tactical function.
In the last decade there has been a change in the trend with
the definitions context for marketing from a tactical approach to
a more strategic approach or a combination of both; for example,
the definitions of the American Marketing Association have been
changed since its first release in 1935 (Wilkie & Moore, 2012).
The definition in 1985 was the one that introduced the concept
of the four P’s (product, price, promotion, and place), which gave
a managerial focus on specific tasks. In 2004, a new definition was
introduced with a managerial character that focused on a strategic
point of view but also kept the tactical part of marketing (Wilkie
& Moore, 2012). Although this definition included a managerial
approach, they delineated marketing to organizations with a more
1 “Mismarketing” is a term often used in journal publications, case studies
and trade publications to refer to misleading or false marketing (e.g. Beverland
& Luxton, 2005; Detwiler, 1974; Morgan, 1984; Suris, 1993).
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
appropriate definition for marketing management discipline and
not for marketing (Gundlach & Wilkie, 2009; Wilkie & Moore,
2007). Later, this definition was revised and a new definition was
introduced in 2007 which presents marketing as an activity that
provides value to customers, partners, customers, and society in
general (Wilkie & Moore, 2012).
Definitions of the American Marketing Association show that
marketing is much more than promotion and personal selling
(Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2013). They have academic and
professional relevance and are developed using the consensus of
academic and professional marketers.
Purpose of the Study and Research Questions
The purpose of this study is to address how marketing managers
are currently defining marketing. In contrast to previous studies
(e.g. Webster et al., 2005), this study will be performing a more
specific analysis of the marketing definitions provided by marketing
managers. Previous research and writings are based on the analysis of
definitions established in literature (Gamble et al., 2011; Bolajoko et
al., 2013). This study helps expand academic literature by providing
a different perspective on the situation, the marketing manager’s
viewpoint. The study will also analyze the definitions established
by marketing managers from strategic and tactical perspective,
something not addressed in previous research. Finally, it also serves
as a descriptive tool of the different perspectives in Puerto Rico that
address how marketing managers define marketing. It serves as an
initial study that will lead to further, more in-depth research about
marketing in Puerto Rico.
Specifically, the research questions addressed in this study are:
1. How do marketing managers define marketing?
2. How often do marketing managers define marketing as a
tactical function, strategic function, or both?
3. How often do marketing managers define marketing as a
sales function?
4. How often do marketing managers define marketing as a
function of promotion?
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Method
Content analysis is “the systematic, objective, quantitative analysis
of message characteristics” (Neuendorf, 2002, p. 1). This study
utilized content analysis techniques to examine the definitions of
marketing as presented by the person who is in charge of marketing
activities (i.e. brand manager, marketing managers, director of
marketing, vice-president of marketing, etc.), in companies’ native
to Puerto Rico.
The selection of the population and sample used in this study
followed methodology established in previous studies about marketing managers (e.g. Dibb, Simkin, & Farhangmehr, 2001; Verhoef &
Leeflang, 2009, 2010; Verhoef et al., 2011), where researchers sampled managers in charge of marketing. The sample was obtained
through the following procedure. First, the top native companies
in Puerto Rico were identified using the “Top 400 Locally Owned
Companies” of 2012 published by Caribbean Business Book of Lists.
Second, companies were contacted via telephone to identify who
the person in charge of marketing was. A total of 102 companies
stated that they had a marketing manager or a related position.
Data collected for this study was part of a previous survey conducted
on the marketing functions performed by marketing managers
and marketing metrics used by them. From this instrument, the
researchers used two open-ended questions to perform the analysis
in this study: (1) How do you define marketing? (2) What is the title
of the position you hold within the company? A personalized email
message was sent to each marketing manager with the electronic
survey. The email explained the purpose of the study and invited
marketing managers to complete the electronic survey. To increase
response rates, email reminders were sent a short period after the
initial survey was sent to participants.
The four variables used to classify marketing definitions in this
study were: strategic marketing function, tactical marketing structure, sales, and promotion/communication. Strategic marketing
structure refers to the identification and analysis of consumer
needs, the definition of the target market or target markets, and
development of positioning strategies to create a value proposition
to the consumer (Cravens & Piercy, 2006; Ferrell & Hartline, 2006;
Kotler & Keller, 2009). The tactical marketing function specifies
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
the precise marketing actions to be implemented, such as product
characteristics, promotion, pricing, distribution channels, and services (Kotler & Keller, 2009). This definition is mainly related to
the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place) developed by McCarthy (1960). Sales functions refers to the attainment
of sales force goals in an effective and efficient manner through
planning, staffing, training, leading, and controlling organizational
resources (Futrell, 2001). The promotion/communication function is part of the marketing mix. Kotler and Keller (2012) define
promotion/communication as “the means by which firms attempt
to inform, persuade, and remind consumers, directly or indirectly,
about the products and brands they sell” (p. 476).
Findings and Discussion
The sample of managers (marketing managers, marketing
directors, vice-presidents of marketing, vice-presidents of sales and
marketing, etc.) that accessed the link to participate in the study
was of 69 people; however, after eliminating 19 samples from survey
because of incomplete responses, the final sample size was of 50
marketing managers. Content analysis allowed the researchers to
analyze the 50 responses of the open-ended question about how
marketing is defined by marketing managers. The Appendix lists
the definitions that marketing managers provided2 (referring to
Research Question 1). All 50 definitions provided by marketing
managers were analyzed using the four constructs—strategic
function, tactical function, sales and promotions/communications.
Based on the definitions provided, this study found that
marketing managers do not define marketing using a particular
concept or frame (strategic functions, tactical functions, sales, and
promotions/communications). In fact, many marketing managers
tended to include more than one of the four constructs in their
definition; for example, one manager stated that marketing is “the
entire set of activities and strategies designed to foster and position
products to potential customers in the right distribution channels.”
2 The definitions provided in the Appendix represent a literal translation
from the definitions marketing managers provided. The data for this study was
gathered in Spanish.
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This definition illustrates the strategic, tactical, and the promotion/
communication concepts.
Strategic Function
For purposes of this research, strategic function was defined
as those functions related to segmentation, target marketing, and
positioning. It was important to analyze the definitions of marketing
from this perspective since literature has stated that marketing has
lost its strategic importance in organizations (Verhoef & Leeflang,
2009; Webster et al., 2005). Definitions were analyzed by identifying
at least one of these three concepts—segmentation, target market,
and positioning (referring to Research Question 2).
Sixteen percent (n=8) of marketing managers stated at least one
of the three concepts relating to strategic functions as part of their
definition. This is a significant finding because it supports what
literature has established, that many marketing managers do not
perform strategic functions (Verhoef & Leeflang, 2009; Webster et
al., 2005). Of all the definitions presented, only one had a clear and
comprehensive strategic approach:
It is everything about a company. It’s the management and
development of a product or service; it’s the analysis of the
competition; the evaluation of culture; public acceptance;
without leaving aside the development of the concept of
advertising; communication strategy, media planning and
advertising tools (direct marketing, traditional media, nontraditional media, events, promotions, internet). Work with
the Finance Department the viability of a business. In addition,
they are the people in charge of realizing marketing research
and the positioning of a product in order to estimate the
growth of a product or service. (Appendix)
The above definition includes important functions that can be
related to strategic marketing, such as: analysis of the competition,
public acceptance, development of a product, and positioning
of a product. It is important to mention that the first line of the
definition establishes marketing as the main function within a
company.
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
Tactical Function
The tactical function is defined as the administration of the
marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place). Literature
suggests that the marketing manager has remained primarily
performing functions related to the administration of any of the four
parts of the marketing mix (Verhoef & Leeflang, 2009; Webster et al.,
2005). Fifty percent (n=25) of marketing managers established in
their definition a concept related to the administration of product,
price, promotion, and place (referring to Research Question 2);
for example, one manager stated that marketing is the “discipline
of meeting the needs of customers and profit at the same time
through activities to achieve customer satisfaction with a product or
service aimed at a specific market” (Appendix). This emphasis on
the tactical aspects of marketing supports what literature has stated
that most of the functions carried out by marketing managers relate
to product management, pricing, promotion, and place (Verhoef
& Leeflang, 2009; Webster et al., 2005).
Sales
For many years there has been confusion between the functions
carried out by the sales manager and marketing manager (Webster
2005; Webster 2002). In this study’s findings, the word “sales” was
identified in 20% (n=10) of the definitions (e.g. “sales satisfying
customer requirements”), suggesting that managers view marketing
as a tactical function that supports the sales department (referring
to Research Question 3). This supports McDonald’s (2009) research
that states that marketing as a tactical function is still seen primarily
as a sales support function.
Promotion/Communication
For many years, literature has argued that marketing has been
marginalized from organizations and that the marketing manager
only performs functions related to promotion (Kotler, 2005). To
analyze this concept, only the answers whose main focus was on
strategies or promotion and communicational activities were used;
for example, one manager stated: “Marketing is the way in which
managers create efforts to persuade, create needs, communicate,
innovate, among others, consumer, seeking always to meet the needs
of the same, but add value” (Appendix). The results suggest that
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26% (n=13) of marketing managers perceive their organizations as
a promotional role (referring to Research Question 4), supporting
Kotler’s (2005) arguments.
Additional Findings
Participants were also asked to provide the “name” for the
position they held within the company. In this study, 19 different
titles for managers that carry out marketing functions were
identified. Table 1 delineates the variety of titles that the person in
charge of marketing held and the number of participants that held
each of those titles.
Table 1
Position Title
Position title
Vice President of Marketing
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations
Vice President of Sales and New Business Development
Vice President of Product Marketing
Vice President
Marketing Manager
Marketing and Communications Manager
Marketing Director
Brand Supervisor
Marketing Specialist
Promotion and Marketing Representative
Business Development Manager
Regional Business Manager
Buyers Supervisor
Area Director
Other
Total
Source: Own elaboration.
Percent
n
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
34
2
30
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
4
100
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
17
1
15
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
50
The variety of titles for a marketing manager also supports previous
literature relating the confusion of the role of the marketing
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
manager and the definition of the term “marketing” (McDonald,
2009).
Conclusions and Implications
A variety of definitions from marketing managers were identified.
This goes in accordance to previous literature that has also
identified many definitions for marketing in the past 60 years. This
diversity of definitions has caused confusion about the functions
to be performed by the marketing manager within organizations
(Gamble, Gilmore, McCartan-Quinn, & Durkan, 2011; McDonald,
2009;). This confusion about marketing is evidenced by the
multiplicity of titles that marketing managers possess (McDonald,
2009).
One of the research questions sought to examine whether
marketing managers perceived marketing within an organization
as a strategic or tactical function. Various authors have stated that it
is important that the marketing manager possess a more pertinent
strategic role in organizations (Verhoef & Leeflang, 2009; Webster et
al., 2005); however, this study observed that only a small percentage
of marketing managers performed strategic functions and that the
majority performed tactical functions. This supports the decline
or marginalization of marketing to tactical functions related
to administration of the marketing mix. Twenty-eight percent
(n=14) reflected performing both functions. The small group of
marketing managers that stated they performed both strategic
and tactical functions could perceive marketing as a strategic and
tactical role, reflecting the marketing domain that new marketing
definitions are trying to emphasize (McDonald, 2009). This study
also found that marketing is still being viewed from a promotional
perspective by practitioners. This goes in accordance with what is
stated in literature relating to how marketing has become strictly a
promotional feature (Kotler, 2005).
The analysis carried out in this study provides evidence of the
confusion that exists about what marketing means to the marketing
manager in organizations. Gamble, Gilmore, McCartan-Quinn, and
Durkan (2011) suggest that there are two opposing views related to
the definition of marketing. The first perspective is to find and agree
on a single definition of marketing, something that has not been
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found. The second perspective is that there is no unifying theory
of marketing. Given that marketing occurs in different contexts
and industries, a definite marketing theory is not possible. This
perspective allows for variations to marketing definitions depending
on the context or situation in which it occurs. It is influenced by the
different uses of the term and languages of the industry in each
context. This could be an explanation for the inconsistency of
definitions raised by the managers. This perspective may explain
the multiplicity of definitions established by the managers. The
existence of multiple definitions and interpretations that enhance
what has been raised into awareness may cause confusion into what
marketing is. In this research what stands out most is the diversity of
the definitions and terms offered by the management under study.
Theoretical Implication
This research makes a contribution to the gap in literature about
how marketing is defined. Previous studies address the definition
of marketing from the academic and theoretical perspective. They
do not cover the perspective of marketing managers, the people in
charge of executing the functions. This study advances research on
the definition of marketing from that perspective. It is a starting
point for further research on the perception that marketing
managers have on the meaning of marketing.
The multiple marketing definitions presented by managers in
this study, revealed important theoretical implications for academics
and marketing educators. First, the multiplicity of definitions found
could be a result or a reflection of the debate that theoretics and
academics have about how broad or specific marketing should be
defined. Given that it has been so difficult to develop one definition
for the term among academics, one implication could relate to the
education necessary for future professionals in marketing about
what their role and function within an organization is. Second,
this study’s findings indicate that the tactical function is the one
that managers associate their functions with the most; therefore,
this might indicate a necessity in re-evaluating school curriculums
and verifying if they include courses about strategic marketing. It is
necessary for the new generation of aspiring marketing professions
to put adequate emphasis on teaching strategic marketing as part
of the academic marketing curriculum.
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
Managerial Implication
The managerial implication that results from this study is that
the majority of marketing managers defined marketing as a tactical
function. This could provide support to previous studies that state
that marketing departments have gradually lost their strategic and
managerial importance within companies (Homburg, Vomberg,
Enke, & Grimm, 2015; Homburg, Workman, & Krohmer, 1999;
Krush, Sohi, & Saini, 2015; Verhoef & Leeflang, 2009; Webster,
2002). This is why marketing managers should be aware of what
their strategic and tactical functions are within a company. They
should also make sure that they know the scope of marketing
within their company. Literature has established that the marketing
department has lost its importance throughout the years, and for
that reason, their functions have been reduced (Kotler, 2004).
Webster (2002) argues that marketing has yielded its strategic
responsibilities to other departments that do not visualize the
consumer as a priority. In addition, Webster (2002) also indicates
that marketing as a function is in danger of being marginalized
given that a lot of people think that its main function is to develop
flyers and discounts. The limited vision marketing managers in our
study present significant challenges for professionals and future
professionals in the marketing area.
Limitations and Future Studies
This study is not without its limitations. The results obtained
for the main research question were from one question in a
questionnaire. Future studies should look for a more in-depth
approach to exploring marketing definitions. A more comprehensive
definition can be obtained from marketing managers from the
use of interviews instead of a questionnaire. Future studies may
also elaborate on this study by conducting research on how top
management defines marketing. A comparative research among
marketing managers in Puerto Rican companies and marketing
managers of foreign companies in Puerto Rico will elaborate on
the findings as well.
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marketing departments influence within the firm. Journal of
Marketing, 73(2), 14-37.
Verhoef, P. C., & Leeflang, P. S. (2010). Getting marketing back into
the boardroom: The influence of the marketing department
in companies today. GFK-Marketing Intelligence Review, 1(2), 3441.
Verhoef, P. C., Leeflang, P. S., Reiner, J., Natter, M., Baker, W.,
Grinstein, A., Gustafsson, A., Morrison, P., & Saunders, J.
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(2011). A cross-national investigation into the marketing
department’s influence within the firm: Towards initial
empirical generalizations. Journal of International Marketing,
19(3), 59-86.
Webster, F. E. (2002). Marketing management in changing times.
Marketing Management, 1(11), 18-23.
Webster, F. E. (2005). A perspective on the evolution of marketing
management. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 1(24), 121126.
Webster Jr, F. E., Malter, A. J., & Ganesan, S. (2005). The decline and
dispersion of marketing competence. MIT Sloan Management
Review, 46(4), 35-43.
Wilkie, W. L., & Moore, E. S. (2007). What does the definition of
marketing tell us about ourselves? Journal of Public Policy &
Marketing, 26(2), 269-276.
Wilkie, W. L., & Moore, E. S. (2012). Expanding our understanding
of marketing in society. Journal of the Academy of Marketing
Science, 40(1), 53-73.
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
Appendix
How Do You Define Marketing?
Description
Strategic
function
Tactical
function
Any gesture aimed at increasing sales.
It is everything about a company. It’s the
management and development of a product
or service; it’s the analysis of the competition; the evaluation of culture; public acceptance; without leaving aside the development of the concept of advertising; communication strategy, media planning and advertising tools (direct marketing, traditional
media, non-traditional media, events, promotions, internet). Work with the Finance
Department the viability of a business. In
addition, they are the people in charge of
realizing marketing research and the positioning of a product in order to estimate the
growth of a product or service.
Sales
Promotion/
Communication
X
X
X
It is the department that is responsible for using the necessary tools to reach consumers.
Marketing is the way to create a need or help
fill a need for a consumer through a product
and service…including price, product, distribution, communication.
X
X
Process from before the creation of a product or service to the maintenance. Set of processes that are carried out to meet/promote/
communicate the existence of a product or
service so that an exchange occurs. It does
not end there as the exchange which is retention in which marketing is fundamental.
X
X
Marketing for me is, has to do with how
attaining the exchange of products and/or
services that fill different needs or desire for
customers in a market.
X
X
Discipline of meeting the needs of customers and profit at the same time through
activities to achieve customer satisfaction
with a product or service aimed at a specific
market.
X
X
X
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Is the function that examines and analyzes
the market, its people, its economy and the
factors that impact positively and negatively
to position products and/or services in a relevant way that will result in growth for the
organization.
The discipline that is responsible for identifying the sales process by studying the
needs and tastes of consumers and look
for ways that the product, service or brand
meets the same.
Marketing is the way in which managers
create efforts to persuade, create needs,
communicate, innovate, among others, consumer, seeking always to meet the needs of
the same, but add value.
Sale, promotion, public relations. Anyway
all functions that lead me to growth in the
company.
Marketing is a limitless world where different resources, strategies, tactics, among others, for the birth, development of a product,
event, etc., to be used either individually or
in groups with a common purpose are used.
The analysis of market characteristics and
needs to determine how to communicate a
message.
The action that creates, communicates value
and benefits of a product, brand or service to
meet customer needs.
It is the function that determines the creation
of demand for products and services in an
enterprise.
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Method used in a business to promote their
services or products in order to sell them.
X
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X
X
X
66
X
X
The process of creating, planning, promoting and distributing a product or service.
Integration of products with the environment and customers.
The study of the conditions that lead the
public to decide which items consume and
where they buy and the development of
strategies conducive to serving the public in
the most complete way possible.
X
X
X
X
X
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One way to promote a brand and make it be
on everyone’s mind effectively (both cost
and running).
X
Sales satisfying customer requirements.
It is the piece that connects all the functions
of the firm/company and gives a face that is
presented to customers.
It is the practice of creating a product, promotion, distribution and all comprising the
same.
The presentation of a product, brand or concept to be able to increase your sales.
The discipline of identifying consumer
needs and develop products, strategies and
programs leading to a genuine consumer interaction with the brand.
The process of promoting a product or service, creating an image of superiority over
any other alternative available to solve the
problem or meet the need to have the customer or consumer.
It is the administrative discipline of establishing strategies and coordinating tactics to
provide a solution (service or product) to a
need of a target market. This solution should
represent value for the potential consumer
so that it is relevant over other solutions
available in the market.
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
The way we promote a product, whether in
print, TV, radio, “email blast”, etc.
Marketing is the engine that makes brands,
whether of products or services, reach their
final destination. From product conceptualization, development monitoring, trace the
sale price, where we will locate how we will
promote and fulfill what you promise the
consumer to buy it again.
It is the development of strategies in order to
comply with the objectives of a product or
service and achieve customer or consumer
satisfaction.
The way of exposing to an optimum level,
the existence and service that the individual,
company and/or product provide.
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
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Marketing is the way to feel or create a need
for the consumer to purchase your product.
For me marketing is the process of exchange
between company and client where the company satisfies consumer needs through the
provision of a good or service; during this
process both parties win and establish longterm relationships provided the company
achieves customer retention through positive experience and satisfaction.
Strategic, promotional, advertising, research
and financial actions taken to develop a
brand in order to sell a product/service profitably.
X
X
X
The way to bring products or services to the
final recipient.
Marketing, more than any other line of business in a company, has contact with consumers; they are responsible for creating
“customer satisfactions & values” and brand
loyalty. Marketing is and should always be
the focus of the company.
X
X
It is a set of techniques used to sell a product
and/or service; and, in turn, meet the needs
of the consumer/client.
X
It is the set of techniques and tools that facilitates the exchange of services and products.
X
The process involves identifying the needs
and wants of the target market, the development of consumer-oriented objectives,
building strategies that create added value,
the implementation of customer relations
and retention of customer value to achieve
benefits.
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X
X
Research and development of the strategic
plan to produce the image of the company or
product and as a result of its implementation
produce sales for the company/product.
It is the means by which we develop the
identity of a brand, product or service, locate a market to direct it and develop appropriate measures to that mark, product or
service is accepted with expected growth
potential strategies.
X
X
X
X
X
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Promoting and selling products or services
that meet the needs of a market segment
and is always innovating. Search and identify development opportunities.
X
X
Establish customer satisfaction with a product or service.
X
Discipline that studies, develops, promotes,
sells a product or service to the consumer.
X
Marketing is a set of actions that begin by
defining the need of individuals where you
research, project, plan, communicate, execute and measure results.
X
X
X
How to create a demand for a product in
potential buyers.
X
Process where some needs are met by creating and exchanging goods and services
X
Functions with which it seeks to create value to the shareholders of a business/company by offering and managing a portfolio of
products/services, in which each product/
service meets the needs of the target consumer.
X
The entire set of activities and strategies
designed to foster and position products to
potential customers in the right distribution
channels.
X
X
People who work in the marketing area, our
mission is to find quality products to meet
the needs of our customers. Considering
prices in order to make profit.
X
X
Total
22
39
10
13
Percentages
44%
78%
20%
26%
Source: Own elaboration.
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
Perception of the Definition of Marketing
Frank Lozada Contreras | Frank_lozada@pucpr.edu
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico
Mari L. Zapata Ramos | maril.zapata@upr.edu
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez
Received: June 23, 2015
Accepted: September 21, 2015
ABSTRACT
Several authors indicate that there is confusion about what marketing is, because
there are multiple definitions and interpretations established in academic
literature. This multiplicity about the conceptualization of marketing complicates
the development of marketing functions and contributes to its decline within
organizations. This study uses content analysis techniques to explore how marketing
managers define the concept of marketing in Puerto Rican companies. The results
show that 16% of managers define it using concepts related to strategic functions,
50% define it using concepts related to marketing tactics, and 28% state that it
reflects both functions.
Keywords: marketing definition, marketing functions, marketing managers
RESUMEN
Varios autores indican que hay confusión acerca de lo que es mercadeo, porque
existen múltiples definiciones e interpretaciones en la literatura académica. Esta
multiplicidad sobre la conceptualización del mercadeo complica el desarrollo de las
funciones de mercadeo y contribuye a su declinación dentro de las organizaciones.
Este estudio utiliza técnicas de análisis de contenido, para explorar cómo los gerentes
de mercadeo definen el concepto de mercadeo en compañías puertorriqueñas. Los
resultados muestran que el 16% de los gerentes lo definen utilizando conceptos
relacionados con funciones estratégicas, el 50% lo definen utilizando conceptos
relacionados con las tácticas de mercadeo y el 28% expresan que refleja ambas
funciones.
Palabras clave: definición de mercadeo, funciones de mercadeo, gerentes de
mercadeo
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The existence of different conceptualizations of marketing theory
and the confusion as to what marketing is and what are its functions
have been proposed (McDonald, 2009). Several authors indicate
that the confusion about the conceptualization of marketing is due
to the multiplicity of definitions and interpretations established
by academic literature (e.g. Bolajoko, Salome, & Sikuade, 2013;
Brooksbank, Davey, & McIntosh, 2010a, 2010b; Gamble, Gilmore,
McCartan, & Durkan, 2011). Literature exposes a debate as to
how broad or specific the definition of marketing should be; for
example, Gronroos (2006) states the definition should be broad or
generic as to include a wide variety of products and contexts (such
as transaction-based marketing or relationship-based marketing).
He established that the “marketing definition has to be somewhat
abstract, without losing its power as a guideline for teaching and
practicing marketing” (p. 397). On the other hand, McDonald
(2009) states that many definitions of marketing are admirable and
correct; however, they provide little direction as to what the term
includes and excludes. This may cause those definitions to be harder
to use in a practical manner. The inconsistent, somewhat abstract,
definitions offered by academics and organizations contribute to a
growing confusion about marketing among marketing professionals
(Brooksbank et al., 2010a, 2010b).
From the perspective of marketing managers, this multiplicity
of definitions and interpretations complicates the development of
marketing within organizations and has contributed to its decline
(Davidson, 2009; McDonald, 2009). It could also be related to the
decline of the functions carried out by the marketing manager
within organizations (McDonald, 2009). Verhoef and Leeflang
(2009) suggest that marketing has lost its strategic importance
within organizations primarily due to the development of
marketing by the marketing manager from a tactical perspective
(product management, pricing, promotion, and place) and not
from a strategic perspective (marketing analysis, selection of
target market, brand positioning strategies for value creation in
consumers). One of the arguments established in literature seeks
to reach a consensus as to the development of an underlying
definition that includes strategic and tactical functions (McDonald,
2009). If the marketing manager finds it difficult to understand
what encompasses marketing, it becomes even more difficult to
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
develop marketing efforts in an organization, given that managers
in other departments may have the same confusion (Webster,
Malter, & Ganesan, 2005).
In the writings of Bolajoko, Salome, and Sikuade (2013),
“the conceptualization and the domain of marketing has been a
contentious issue among academicians and practitioners in the
field of marketing” (p. 56). The authors state that this could lead
to different perspectives as to what is marketing. Webster, Malter,
and Ganesan (2005) have also found differing views of marketing
within organizations.
Since literature has clearly established the multiplicity and
confusion present in the conceptualization of marketing and its
functions, this study seeks to evaluate it using a sample of Puerto
Rican marketing managers. This will help contribute to the ongoing
debate established in literature and within the practice.
Literature Review
The numbers of marketing definitions presented in literature
have led to ambiguity about what marketing is for marketing
managers, senior management and other functional managers. In
2009, McDonald states that although there are many “admirable
and correct” definitions, these definitions provide little guidance
on what to include and exclude in the marketing practice (p. 434).
Literature states that the ambiguity surrounding what is
marketing—because of its multiple definitions—could be causing
confusion among marketing managers that carry out marketing
efforts in organizations (Brooksbank et al., 2010a, 2010b). Previous
research has looked at how the multiple definitions of marketing
have influenced marketing departments; for example, Webster
et al. (2005) conducted in-depth interviews with chief executive
officers (CEOs) and chief marketing officers (CMOs), which
disclosed a general uncertainty among marketing’s definition. One
of the significant findings raised by the authors was the fact that
the definition of marketing tends to be specific to each company,
which is mainly guided by the vision of the CEO; for example, one
of the definitions provided by a CEO was: “I have always defined
marketing as brand management plus sales” (Webster et al., 2005,
p. 36). These senior officers also noted that marketing has moved
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from the advertising and merchandising divisions to be part of
the sales and service divisions; in fact, some marketing executives
tended to equate marketing with sales. Other general comments
from the CEOs and CMOs were that it was difficult to identify
people that conducted specific marketing responsibilities. The
CMOs also agreed that the definition of marketing was an important
situation that needed to be addressed. Finally, they indicated that
the ambiguity that surrounds the concept of marketing makes it
difficult to gain financial support in the organizations because
marketing managers’ responsibilities are unclear.
This confusion about what marketing is within organizations
is also evident in the profusion of titles that those professionals
practicing marketing functions have (McDonald, 2009). Some
examples of the titles that define the position of a marketing
manager are: sales people, copy writers, advertisers, direct
mailers, and market researchers; therefore, the perception of
senior management about marketing could be dictating how the
marketing manager carries out strategic and tactical functions.
The way marketing is defined within organizations may be
limiting the strategic and tactical actions that are executed by
executives. McDonald (2009) states that in practice marketing
is seen as “mismarketing”1 (p. 431) which has resulted in the
degradation of marketing as a promotional tactical function.
In the last decade there has been a change in the trend with
the definitions context for marketing from a tactical approach to
a more strategic approach or a combination of both; for example,
the definitions of the American Marketing Association have been
changed since its first release in 1935 (Wilkie & Moore, 2012).
The definition in 1985 was the one that introduced the concept
of the four P’s (product, price, promotion, and place), which gave
a managerial focus on specific tasks. In 2004, a new definition was
introduced with a managerial character that focused on a strategic
point of view but also kept the tactical part of marketing (Wilkie
& Moore, 2012). Although this definition included a managerial
approach, they delineated marketing to organizations with a more
1 “Mismarketing” is a term often used in journal publications, case studies
and trade publications to refer to misleading or false marketing (e.g. Beverland
& Luxton, 2005; Detwiler, 1974; Morgan, 1984; Suris, 1993).
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
appropriate definition for marketing management discipline and
not for marketing (Gundlach & Wilkie, 2009; Wilkie & Moore,
2007). Later, this definition was revised and a new definition was
introduced in 2007 which presents marketing as an activity that
provides value to customers, partners, customers, and society in
general (Wilkie & Moore, 2012).
Definitions of the American Marketing Association show that
marketing is much more than promotion and personal selling
(Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2013). They have academic and
professional relevance and are developed using the consensus of
academic and professional marketers.
Purpose of the Study and Research Questions
The purpose of this study is to address how marketing managers
are currently defining marketing. In contrast to previous studies
(e.g. Webster et al., 2005), this study will be performing a more
specific analysis of the marketing definitions provided by marketing
managers. Previous research and writings are based on the analysis of
definitions established in literature (Gamble et al., 2011; Bolajoko et
al., 2013). This study helps expand academic literature by providing
a different perspective on the situation, the marketing manager’s
viewpoint. The study will also analyze the definitions established
by marketing managers from strategic and tactical perspective,
something not addressed in previous research. Finally, it also serves
as a descriptive tool of the different perspectives in Puerto Rico that
address how marketing managers define marketing. It serves as an
initial study that will lead to further, more in-depth research about
marketing in Puerto Rico.
Specifically, the research questions addressed in this study are:
1. How do marketing managers define marketing?
2. How often do marketing managers define marketing as a
tactical function, strategic function, or both?
3. How often do marketing managers define marketing as a
sales function?
4. How often do marketing managers define marketing as a
function of promotion?
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Method
Content analysis is “the systematic, objective, quantitative analysis
of message characteristics” (Neuendorf, 2002, p. 1). This study
utilized content analysis techniques to examine the definitions of
marketing as presented by the person who is in charge of marketing
activities (i.e. brand manager, marketing managers, director of
marketing, vice-president of marketing, etc.), in companies’ native
to Puerto Rico.
The selection of the population and sample used in this study
followed methodology established in previous studies about marketing managers (e.g. Dibb, Simkin, & Farhangmehr, 2001; Verhoef &
Leeflang, 2009, 2010; Verhoef et al., 2011), where researchers sampled managers in charge of marketing. The sample was obtained
through the following procedure. First, the top native companies
in Puerto Rico were identified using the “Top 400 Locally Owned
Companies” of 2012 published by Caribbean Business Book of Lists.
Second, companies were contacted via telephone to identify who
the person in charge of marketing was. A total of 102 companies
stated that they had a marketing manager or a related position.
Data collected for this study was part of a previous survey conducted
on the marketing functions performed by marketing managers
and marketing metrics used by them. From this instrument, the
researchers used two open-ended questions to perform the analysis
in this study: (1) How do you define marketing? (2) What is the title
of the position you hold within the company? A personalized email
message was sent to each marketing manager with the electronic
survey. The email explained the purpose of the study and invited
marketing managers to complete the electronic survey. To increase
response rates, email reminders were sent a short period after the
initial survey was sent to participants.
The four variables used to classify marketing definitions in this
study were: strategic marketing function, tactical marketing structure, sales, and promotion/communication. Strategic marketing
structure refers to the identification and analysis of consumer
needs, the definition of the target market or target markets, and
development of positioning strategies to create a value proposition
to the consumer (Cravens & Piercy, 2006; Ferrell & Hartline, 2006;
Kotler & Keller, 2009). The tactical marketing function specifies
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the precise marketing actions to be implemented, such as product
characteristics, promotion, pricing, distribution channels, and services (Kotler & Keller, 2009). This definition is mainly related to
the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place) developed by McCarthy (1960). Sales functions refers to the attainment
of sales force goals in an effective and efficient manner through
planning, staffing, training, leading, and controlling organizational
resources (Futrell, 2001). The promotion/communication function is part of the marketing mix. Kotler and Keller (2012) define
promotion/communication as “the means by which firms attempt
to inform, persuade, and remind consumers, directly or indirectly,
about the products and brands they sell” (p. 476).
Findings and Discussion
The sample of managers (marketing managers, marketing
directors, vice-presidents of marketing, vice-presidents of sales and
marketing, etc.) that accessed the link to participate in the study
was of 69 people; however, after eliminating 19 samples from survey
because of incomplete responses, the final sample size was of 50
marketing managers. Content analysis allowed the researchers to
analyze the 50 responses of the open-ended question about how
marketing is defined by marketing managers. The Appendix lists
the definitions that marketing managers provided2 (referring to
Research Question 1). All 50 definitions provided by marketing
managers were analyzed using the four constructs—strategic
function, tactical function, sales and promotions/communications.
Based on the definitions provided, this study found that
marketing managers do not define marketing using a particular
concept or frame (strategic functions, tactical functions, sales, and
promotions/communications). In fact, many marketing managers
tended to include more than one of the four constructs in their
definition; for example, one manager stated that marketing is “the
entire set of activities and strategies designed to foster and position
products to potential customers in the right distribution channels.”
2 The definitions provided in the Appendix represent a literal translation
from the definitions marketing managers provided. The data for this study was
gathered in Spanish.
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This definition illustrates the strategic, tactical, and the promotion/
communication concepts.
Strategic Function
For purposes of this research, strategic function was defined
as those functions related to segmentation, target marketing, and
positioning. It was important to analyze the definitions of marketing
from this perspective since literature has stated that marketing has
lost its strategic importance in organizations (Verhoef & Leeflang,
2009; Webster et al., 2005). Definitions were analyzed by identifying
at least one of these three concepts—segmentation, target market,
and positioning (referring to Research Question 2).
Sixteen percent (n=8) of marketing managers stated at least one
of the three concepts relating to strategic functions as part of their
definition. This is a significant finding because it supports what
literature has established, that many marketing managers do not
perform strategic functions (Verhoef & Leeflang, 2009; Webster et
al., 2005). Of all the definitions presented, only one had a clear and
comprehensive strategic approach:
It is everything about a company. It’s the management and
development of a product or service; it’s the analysis of the
competition; the evaluation of culture; public acceptance;
without leaving aside the development of the concept of
advertising; communication strategy, media planning and
advertising tools (direct marketing, traditional media, nontraditional media, events, promotions, internet). Work with
the Finance Department the viability of a business. In addition,
they are the people in charge of realizing marketing research
and the positioning of a product in order to estimate the
growth of a product or service. (Appendix)
The above definition includes important functions that can be
related to strategic marketing, such as: analysis of the competition,
public acceptance, development of a product, and positioning
of a product. It is important to mention that the first line of the
definition establishes marketing as the main function within a
company.
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
Tactical Function
The tactical function is defined as the administration of the
marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place). Literature
suggests that the marketing manager has remained primarily
performing functions related to the administration of any of the four
parts of the marketing mix (Verhoef & Leeflang, 2009; Webster et al.,
2005). Fifty percent (n=25) of marketing managers established in
their definition a concept related to the administration of product,
price, promotion, and place (referring to Research Question 2);
for example, one manager stated that marketing is the “discipline
of meeting the needs of customers and profit at the same time
through activities to achieve customer satisfaction with a product or
service aimed at a specific market” (Appendix). This emphasis on
the tactical aspects of marketing supports what literature has stated
that most of the functions carried out by marketing managers relate
to product management, pricing, promotion, and place (Verhoef
& Leeflang, 2009; Webster et al., 2005).
Sales
For many years there has been confusion between the functions
carried out by the sales manager and marketing manager (Webster
2005; Webster 2002). In this study’s findings, the word “sales” was
identified in 20% (n=10) of the definitions (e.g. “sales satisfying
customer requirements”), suggesting that managers view marketing
as a tactical function that supports the sales department (referring
to Research Question 3). This supports McDonald’s (2009) research
that states that marketing as a tactical function is still seen primarily
as a sales support function.
Promotion/Communication
For many years, literature has argued that marketing has been
marginalized from organizations and that the marketing manager
only performs functions related to promotion (Kotler, 2005). To
analyze this concept, only the answers whose main focus was on
strategies or promotion and communicational activities were used;
for example, one manager stated: “Marketing is the way in which
managers create efforts to persuade, create needs, communicate,
innovate, among others, consumer, seeking always to meet the needs
of the same, but add value” (Appendix). The results suggest that
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26% (n=13) of marketing managers perceive their organizations as
a promotional role (referring to Research Question 4), supporting
Kotler’s (2005) arguments.
Additional Findings
Participants were also asked to provide the “name” for the
position they held within the company. In this study, 19 different
titles for managers that carry out marketing functions were
identified. Table 1 delineates the variety of titles that the person in
charge of marketing held and the number of participants that held
each of those titles.
Table 1
Position Title
Position title
Vice President of Marketing
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations
Vice President of Sales and New Business Development
Vice President of Product Marketing
Vice President
Marketing Manager
Marketing and Communications Manager
Marketing Director
Brand Supervisor
Marketing Specialist
Promotion and Marketing Representative
Business Development Manager
Regional Business Manager
Buyers Supervisor
Area Director
Other
Total
Source: Own elaboration.
Percent
n
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
34
2
30
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
4
100
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
17
1
15
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
50
The variety of titles for a marketing manager also supports previous
literature relating the confusion of the role of the marketing
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
manager and the definition of the term “marketing” (McDonald,
2009).
Conclusions and Implications
A variety of definitions from marketing managers were identified.
This goes in accordance to previous literature that has also
identified many definitions for marketing in the past 60 years. This
diversity of definitions has caused confusion about the functions
to be performed by the marketing manager within organizations
(Gamble, Gilmore, McCartan-Quinn, & Durkan, 2011; McDonald,
2009;). This confusion about marketing is evidenced by the
multiplicity of titles that marketing managers possess (McDonald,
2009).
One of the research questions sought to examine whether
marketing managers perceived marketing within an organization
as a strategic or tactical function. Various authors have stated that it
is important that the marketing manager possess a more pertinent
strategic role in organizations (Verhoef & Leeflang, 2009; Webster et
al., 2005); however, this study observed that only a small percentage
of marketing managers performed strategic functions and that the
majority performed tactical functions. This supports the decline
or marginalization of marketing to tactical functions related
to administration of the marketing mix. Twenty-eight percent
(n=14) reflected performing both functions. The small group of
marketing managers that stated they performed both strategic
and tactical functions could perceive marketing as a strategic and
tactical role, reflecting the marketing domain that new marketing
definitions are trying to emphasize (McDonald, 2009). This study
also found that marketing is still being viewed from a promotional
perspective by practitioners. This goes in accordance with what is
stated in literature relating to how marketing has become strictly a
promotional feature (Kotler, 2005).
The analysis carried out in this study provides evidence of the
confusion that exists about what marketing means to the marketing
manager in organizations. Gamble, Gilmore, McCartan-Quinn, and
Durkan (2011) suggest that there are two opposing views related to
the definition of marketing. The first perspective is to find and agree
on a single definition of marketing, something that has not been
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found. The second perspective is that there is no unifying theory
of marketing. Given that marketing occurs in different contexts
and industries, a definite marketing theory is not possible. This
perspective allows for variations to marketing definitions depending
on the context or situation in which it occurs. It is influenced by the
different uses of the term and languages of the industry in each
context. This could be an explanation for the inconsistency of
definitions raised by the managers. This perspective may explain
the multiplicity of definitions established by the managers. The
existence of multiple definitions and interpretations that enhance
what has been raised into awareness may cause confusion into what
marketing is. In this research what stands out most is the diversity of
the definitions and terms offered by the management under study.
Theoretical Implication
This research makes a contribution to the gap in literature about
how marketing is defined. Previous studies address the definition
of marketing from the academic and theoretical perspective. They
do not cover the perspective of marketing managers, the people in
charge of executing the functions. This study advances research on
the definition of marketing from that perspective. It is a starting
point for further research on the perception that marketing
managers have on the meaning of marketing.
The multiple marketing definitions presented by managers in
this study, revealed important theoretical implications for academics
and marketing educators. First, the multiplicity of definitions found
could be a result or a reflection of the debate that theoretics and
academics have about how broad or specific marketing should be
defined. Given that it has been so difficult to develop one definition
for the term among academics, one implication could relate to the
education necessary for future professionals in marketing about
what their role and function within an organization is. Second,
this study’s findings indicate that the tactical function is the one
that managers associate their functions with the most; therefore,
this might indicate a necessity in re-evaluating school curriculums
and verifying if they include courses about strategic marketing. It is
necessary for the new generation of aspiring marketing professions
to put adequate emphasis on teaching strategic marketing as part
of the academic marketing curriculum.
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
Managerial Implication
The managerial implication that results from this study is that
the majority of marketing managers defined marketing as a tactical
function. This could provide support to previous studies that state
that marketing departments have gradually lost their strategic and
managerial importance within companies (Homburg, Vomberg,
Enke, & Grimm, 2015; Homburg, Workman, & Krohmer, 1999;
Krush, Sohi, & Saini, 2015; Verhoef & Leeflang, 2009; Webster,
2002). This is why marketing managers should be aware of what
their strategic and tactical functions are within a company. They
should also make sure that they know the scope of marketing
within their company. Literature has established that the marketing
department has lost its importance throughout the years, and for
that reason, their functions have been reduced (Kotler, 2004).
Webster (2002) argues that marketing has yielded its strategic
responsibilities to other departments that do not visualize the
consumer as a priority. In addition, Webster (2002) also indicates
that marketing as a function is in danger of being marginalized
given that a lot of people think that its main function is to develop
flyers and discounts. The limited vision marketing managers in our
study present significant challenges for professionals and future
professionals in the marketing area.
Limitations and Future Studies
This study is not without its limitations. The results obtained
for the main research question were from one question in a
questionnaire. Future studies should look for a more in-depth
approach to exploring marketing definitions. A more comprehensive
definition can be obtained from marketing managers from the
use of interviews instead of a questionnaire. Future studies may
also elaborate on this study by conducting research on how top
management defines marketing. A comparative research among
marketing managers in Puerto Rican companies and marketing
managers of foreign companies in Puerto Rico will elaborate on
the findings as well.
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What is Marketing? A Study on Marketing Managers’
Appendix
How Do You Define Marketing?
Description
Strategic
function
Tactical
function
Any gesture aimed at increasing sales.
It is everything about a company. It’s the
management and development of a product
or service; it’s the analysis of the competition; the evaluation of culture; public acceptance; without leaving aside the development of the concept of advertising; communication strategy, media planning and advertising tools (direct marketing, traditional
media, non-traditional media, events, promotions, internet). Work with the Finance
Department the viability of a business. In
addition, they are the people in charge of
realizing marketing research and the positioning of a product in order to estimate the
growth of a product or service.
Sales
Promotion/
Communication
X
X
X
It is the department that is responsible for using the necessary tools to reach consumers.
Marketing is the way to create a need or help
fill a need for a consumer through a product
and service…including price, product, distribution, communication.
X
X
Process from before the creation of a product or service to the maintenance. Set of processes that are carried out to meet/promote/
communicate the existence of a product or
service so that an exchange occurs. It does
not end there as the exchange which is retention in which marketing is fundamental.
X
X
Marketing for me is, has to do with how
attaining the exchange of products and/or
services that fill different needs or desire for
customers in a market.
X
X
Discipline of meeting the needs of customers and profit at the same time through
activities to achieve customer satisfaction
with a product or service aimed at a specific
market.
X
X
X
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Is the function that examines and analyzes
the market, its people, its economy and the
factors that impact positively and negatively
to position products and/or services in a relevant way that will result in growth for the
organization.
The discipline that is responsible for identifying the sales process by studying the
needs and tastes of consumers and look
for ways that the product, service or brand
meets the same.
Marketing is the way in which managers
create efforts to persuade, create needs,
communicate, innovate, among others, consumer, seeking always to meet the needs of
the same, but add value.
Sale, promotion, public relations. Anyway
all functions that lead me to growth in the
company.
Marketing is a limitless world where different resources, strategies, tactics, among others, for the birth, development of a product,
event, etc., to be used either individually or
in groups with a common purpose are used.
The analysis of market characteristics and
needs to determine how to communicate a
message.
The action that creates, communicates value
and benefits of a product, brand or service to
meet customer needs.
It is the function that determines the creation
of demand for products and services in an
enterprise.
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Method used in a business to promote their
services or products in order to sell them.
X
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X
X
X
66
X
X
The process of creating, planning, promoting and distributing a product or service.
Integration of products with the environment and customers.
The study of the conditions that lead the
public to decide which items consume and
where they buy and the development of
strategies conducive to serving the public in
the most complete way possible.
X
X
X
X
X
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One way to promote a brand and make it be
on everyone’s mind effectively (both cost
and running).
X
Sales satisfying customer requirements.
It is the piece that connects all the functions
of the firm/company and gives a face that is
presented to customers.
It is the practice of creating a product, promotion, distribution and all comprising the
same.
The presentation of a product, brand or concept to be able to increase your sales.
The discipline of identifying consumer
needs and develop products, strategies and
programs leading to a genuine consumer interaction with the brand.
The process of promoting a product or service, creating an image of superiority over
any other alternative available to solve the
problem or meet the need to have the customer or consumer.
It is the administrative discipline of establishing strategies and coordinating tactics to
provide a solution (service or product) to a
need of a target market. This solution should
represent value for the potential consumer
so that it is relevant over other solutions
available in the market.
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
The way we promote a product, whether in
print, TV, radio, “email blast”, etc.
Marketing is the engine that makes brands,
whether of products or services, reach their
final destination. From product conceptualization, development monitoring, trace the
sale price, where we will locate how we will
promote and fulfill what you promise the
consumer to buy it again.
It is the development of strategies in order to
comply with the objectives of a product or
service and achieve customer or consumer
satisfaction.
The way of exposing to an optimum level,
the existence and service that the individual,
company and/or product provide.
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
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Marketing is the way to feel or create a need
for the consumer to purchase your product.
For me marketing is the process of exchange
between company and client where the company satisfies consumer needs through the
provision of a good or service; during this
process both parties win and establish longterm relationships provided the company
achieves customer retention through positive experience and satisfaction.
Strategic, promotional, advertising, research
and financial actions taken to develop a
brand in order to sell a product/service profitably.
X
X
X
The way to bring products or services to the
final recipient.
Marketing, more than any other line of business in a company, has contact with consumers; they are responsible for creating
“customer satisfactions & values” and brand
loyalty. Marketing is and should always be
the focus of the company.
X
X
It is a set of techniques used to sell a product
and/or service; and, in turn, meet the needs
of the consumer/client.
X
It is the set of techniques and tools that facilitates the exchange of services and products.
X
The process involves identifying the needs
and wants of the target market, the development of consumer-oriented objectives,
building strategies that create added value,
the implementation of customer relations
and retention of customer value to achieve
benefits.
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X
X
Research and development of the strategic
plan to produce the image of the company or
product and as a result of its implementation
produce sales for the company/product.
It is the means by which we develop the
identity of a brand, product or service, locate a market to direct it and develop appropriate measures to that mark, product or
service is accepted with expected growth
potential strategies.
X
X
X
X
X
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Promoting and selling products or services
that meet the needs of a market segment
and is always innovating. Search and identify development opportunities.
X
X
Establish customer satisfaction with a product or service.
X
Discipline that studies, develops, promotes,
sells a product or service to the consumer.
X
Marketing is a set of actions that begin by
defining the need of individuals where you
research, project, plan, communicate, execute and measure results.
X
X
X
How to create a demand for a product in
potential buyers.
X
Process where some needs are met by creating and exchanging goods and services
X
Functions with which it seeks to create value to the shareholders of a business/company by offering and managing a portfolio of
products/services, in which each product/
service meets the needs of the target consumer.
X
The entire set of activities and strategies
designed to foster and position products to
potential customers in the right distribution
channels.
X
X
People who work in the marketing area, our
mission is to find quality products to meet
the needs of our customers. Considering
prices in order to make profit.
X
X
Total
22
39
10
13
Percentages
44%
78%
20%
26%
Source: Own elaboration.
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Articles: Topic” “________________________ Article should be from an
academic journal. You should use the guidelines below:
Your review should show that you can recognize arguments and
engage in critical thinking about the course content. Keep
questions like these in mind as you read, make notes, and then
write the review or critique.
Cover Page:
1. Your name
2. Title of article
3. Author(s)
4. Name of Academic Journal
Article Review/Critique Guidelines
1. What is the specific topic of the article? What overall purpose does it seem to
have? For what readership is it written? (Look in the acknowledgements,
reference list, and index for clues about where and how the piece was
originally published, and about the author’s background and position).
2. Does the author clearly state an explicit thesis? Does the author have a
specific point of view? Is the article “persuasive”? If so, please explain.
3. What exactly does the work contribute and relate to the overall topic of your
course and/or assignment? What general problems and concepts in your
discipline and course does it engage with?
4. What kinds of material does the work present (e.g. primary documents or
secondary material, personal observations, literary analysis, quantitative
data, biographical or historical accounts)?
5. How is this material used to demonstrate and argue the thesis? (As well as
indicating the overall argumentative structure of the work, your review could
quote or summarize specific passages to describe the author’s presentation,
including writing style and tone).
6. What theoretical, ethical issues, and topics for further discussion does the
work raise?
7. What are your own reactions and considered opinions regarding the work?

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