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Before we can start discussing marketing theories and concepts, it is useful to understand the origins of marketing and how academics define it today. This will be followed by a discussion of the four main historical business orientations (production, product, sales and marketing) and how marketing fits into this. The chapter will conclude with an examination of marketing problems and how marketing students can draw upon different academic disciplines such as psychology and economics to solve them.

The aims of this chapter are to:

• show how and where the practice of marketing originated

• help ground the study of marketing in its historical antecedents

• identify which academic disciplines are the most important for the study of marketing

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