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.
A couple of important changes from the previous definition are the incorporation of the concept of marketing as an activity rather than just a function and second, the inclusion of broader stakeholders mainly society.
Does society have a stake in marketing? Or rather does marketing need to take the interests of society into account while conducting its activity? As society in general becomes highly networked and consumption no longer a private activity the implications of the marketing of goods and services are far beyond a particular individual or firm's interests. Individual consumption now has the potential to shape and influence a whole population's preferences due to the Internet and more importantly social networking sites.
Thus, the real change is not just marketing operates in a networked world, but the fact that marketing now has the capability to actually measure how such networked structures operate and also gauge the effectiveness of structures to its activities. A new world of opportunities awaits marketers and I am sure it will be wrought with challenges as well. On a positive note, life's more exciting when its is uncertain.