Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as "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."
The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to market with goods for sale. From a Sales process engineering perspective, marketing is "a set of processes that are interconnected and interdependent with other functions" of a business aimed at achieving customer interest and satisfaction.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as "the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably."
A similar concept is the value-based marketing which states the role of marketing to contribute to increasing shareholder value.
In this context, marketing can be defined as "the management process that seeks to maximise returns to shareholders by developing relationships with valued customers and creating a competitive advantage."
Marketing practice tended to be seen as a creative industry in the past, which included advertising, distribution and selling. However, because the academic study of marketing makes extensive use of social sciences, psychology, sociology, mathematics, economics, anthropology and neuroscience, the profession is now widely recognized as a science,allowing numerous universities to offer Master-of-Science (MSc) programs.
The process of marketing is that of bringing a product to market. As such, the steps include, broad market research; market targeting and market segmentation; determining distribution, pricing and promotion strategies; developing a communications strategy; budgeting; and visioning long-term market development goals.
Many parts of the marketing process (e.g. product design, Art direction, Brand management, advertising, Copywriting etc.) involve use of the creative arts.