Marketing is a term that can cover a variety of activities designed to create a product or service, attract a customer, explain a product or service, and promote business. Marketing is a subset of advertising, which is a mix of many different types of communications and marketing activities. Marketing is really a broad field that covers a number of different activities aimed at creating awareness, creating a need, or generating sales or revenue. Marketing is not a one-time event; it is a dynamic discipline that changes over time.

Marketing refers to that process by which an organisation undertakes to engage with its target market, develop strong relations to generate value for its customers, and create demand in return for its own goods or services. There are five marketing concepts which are common in most businesses: the marketing focus, the marketing function, the marketing objective, the marketing strategy, and the marketing methodology. The marketing management is the overall management approach, which is applied by an organisation to enhance its ability to deliver marketing objectives to its customers.

The marketing concept is that most people will purchase a good or service when they have a need for it, or when they feel like buying it. The marketing concept is related to advertising as it focuses on creating awareness of a product or service to consumers and helping them make a decision about purchasing it. The marketing concept therefore focuses on three factors: (a) establishing the need, (b) explaining the product or service, and (c) offering the product or service in a manner that offers a good or service to potential buyers while also being easy for consumers to understand and use. The marketing concept therefore requires an objective and a flexible perspective, which are often referred to as the marketing challenge. This challenge is what drives the activity and the manner in which it is carried out.

The marketing concept also relates to the concept of competitive behaviour in which a marketer will attempt to exploit the activity of another firm so as to drive consumers to their product or service. A competitive behaviour in this context is one in which there is a clear price different between the market offerings of competitors. A firm may be trying to establish a distinctive position within the market, and to do this it will exploit the activities of other firms in the same area. By contrast, a marketer is interested in attracting consumers to their product or service, which is done through a range of activities aimed at improving customer satisfaction and reducing customer turnover.

Marketing activities are generally carried out by companies to attract customers, but there are some instances where they will act as channel agents to sell a product or service to customers. The other common example is where a company will design and develop a marketing campaign, submit it to the marketing department of a firm, and then sell it to a business. Marketing channels involve both internal and external organisations and are therefore closely related to other disciplines such as finance, accounting, business analysis, supply chain management etc. A coordinated marketing strategy therefore is a set of activities that support the achievement of a particular marketing objective. In terms of an objective, the objective can be to sell a product or service to customers, to promote the existence and growth of a firm, or to improve the productivity of a company.

There is a lot of confusion in the literature relating to marketing management, which is often because the field is divided into three basic sections. These are marketing theory, marketing management, and societal marketing. Within each of these three areas, there are sub-disciplines such as advertising and sales, marketing research, target marketing, and behavioural marketing. Within marketing theory, the three main strands are represented by demand analysis, market research, and marketing planning.