With the development of modern business, people’s argument that marketing is relevant or not has long been a heated debate. In the respects of definition of marketing, the dominant logic of marketing, and the development of technology, some people point out that marketing is central to modern businesses, but others think marketing is becoming more irrelevant to them. This essay will endeavour to demonstrate that although the development of marketing is confronted with some problems and changes, it is still central and will become more vital to modern businesses. This essay will answer people’s doubts and prove the relevance between marketing and businesses. Firstly, it will explain the decline of marketing in terms of definition. Secondly, it will compare the different orientations of marketing. Thirdly, it will present the opportunities of technology to marketing. It will be shown that marketing is relevant to businesses although it has gone through some changes.
To begin with, some people consider there is a decline in marketing because of the problems of the definition conducted by the American Marketing Association (AMA) in 2004. AMA claimed that 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 (Parsons and Maclaran, 2009). One of the problems is that marketing is not only an organizational function, but also related to the role of marketing within society. The second problem is that a customer is not just an acceptance of value through marketing, but a participant to co-create value. Grönroo(2006) presents an example that scholars hold the view that value is produced in the communication and relationship between consumers and companies. Furthermore, the definition only considers the benefits of organizations and shareholders and ignores the benefits of others, such as customers, marketers, and the society. As a result of this, marketing seems to be irrelevant to today’s businesses.
However, the true marketing should include positive relationships and value co-creations between consumers and companies and aim at the benefit of many objects. According to the problems, AMA has put forward an amended version in 2007 that marketing is the activity, conducted by organizations and individuals, that operates through a set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging market offerings that have value for customers, clients, marketers, and society (Parsons and Maclaran, 2009). This version might not be perfect but has made progress in the development of marketing. For example, the supplement of ‘exchanging …… and society’ shows that the up-to-date view pays attention to the interaction between customers and corporations and the broaden environment of marketing. Thus consumers can voice their concerns and a macro-marketing perspective can be taken into account. This change is significant to improve the impression of customers to marketing. It seems that marketing is relevant to businesses through the improvements of definition and other respects according to practical changes.
Secondly, the irrelevance of marketing to modern business might be the result of the goods-centered marketing. This mode focuses on tangible goods, embedded value, and actual transactions. For these, the firm should maximise its profits from the sales volume, as a result of which, the goods can be manufactured until consumer demands, and value is determined by the manufacturer (Stephen L. Vargo & Robert F. Lusch). It has been suggested that this orientation might lead to unhealthy interaction between consumers and firms. Therefore, this goods-oriented marketing is possible to aggravate the irrelevance of marketing.