In 2004, the American Marketing Association (AMA) decided to modernise its 20-year definition and move from a unidirectional advertising postulate to a dialogue-oriented customer relationship management concept. In view of the renewed emphasis on consumer-centricity, not only the interests of the company, but also the interests of all stakeholders were placed at the centre of the marketing process as an objective. Thus the comprehensive approach promoted by the capital goods suppliers is part of the common doctrine. Thus, marketing is seen as „an organizational function and a set of processes to create, transmit and deliver value in a way that benefits the organization and its stakeholders“. In a more recent definition issued by the AMA in October 2007, it states: „Marketing is the activity, a set of institutions and processes to create, communicate, deliver and exchange offers that have value for customers, clients, partners and society as a whole“.

Many marketers see marketing as an entrepreneurial way of thinking. In their opinion, „marketing can be seen as an expression of a market-oriented style of entrepreneurial thinking, characterized by creative, systematic and sometimes aggressive traits“.

According to the vision of the German Marketing Association, marketing is „defined as market-oriented corporate management that aligns all relevant activities of a company with the wishes and needs of its stakeholders.

Active marketing is particularly important in customer markets, i.e. markets with a significant supply overhang compared to demand, provided that supply corresponds to demand and is not focused on previously purely internal company goals and circumstances, such as production facilities.

In line with the specifics of the retail sector, Schenk has developed a four-market approach to trade marketing that goes beyond simple customer orientation: „For trade marketing, trading companies are subject to their own marketing strategies and tactics not only in their market orientation, but in all four markets of the trading company (market, procurement market, competitive market, domestic market).

Non-profit organisations („non-commercial marketing“) now also use marketing methods outside the corporate world. Ultimately, the exact definition or delimitation of the term marketing does not seem necessary for business studies as long as there is a fundamental consensus in literature and practice about the most important marketing tasks.