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Positive marketing is marketing in its ideal form, in which parties – individual customers, marketers, and society as a whole – exchange value such that individually and collectively they are better off than they were prior to exchange.

Positive marketing is simply a frame through which we can view marketing in general. Here is the AMA definition of marketing:

Positive marketing simply shifts the focus to the latter part of the definition and recognizes the interdependency of the parties mentioned therein. That is, in the course of a single market-based exchange, positive marketing delivers value to customer(s), the firm, and society at large. Positive marketing is an essential part of an organization’s business model, not a cosmetic add-on.

To identify positive marketing within a single market-based exchange or within a single marketing strategy or tactic, just ask if it synergistically delivers value to (1) the customer, (2) the firm, and (3) society at large. For example, consider Amazon’s “Frustration Free Packaging,”


  1. Solves a legitimate issue; enables them to open packages without box-cutters, knives, or scissors.

  2. For the firm, Amazon has observed a 73% reduction in negative feedback on “Frustration Free” packaged products compared to their standard-packaged counterparts.

  3. Compared to traditional packaging Frustration Free Packaging uses less packaging altogether, and what it does use is eco-friendly and recyclable. , this means less depletion of finite natural resources used in the production and delivery of packages.


Since customers, the firm, and society at large benefit from Frustration Free Packaging, it is a positive marketing tactic.


The same test can be applied to more general tactics that are studied in scientific research. On the other hand, if a marketing tactic only benefits the firm, possibly at the expense of customers or society, it would not be considered positive marketing.

Learn more about our mission.

Marketing is 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.



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