VIEWPOINT: Philip Kotler
MAKING MARKETING MANAGEABLE
Philip Kotler is a professor at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, Kotler’s reputation as one of the foremost marketing experts is based on the definitive textbook MARKETING MANAGEMENT: ANALYSIS, PLANNING, IMPLEMENTATION, AND CONTROL. He has published over 25 books, covering such topics as the marketing of persons, places, social causes, cultural institutions, professions, higher education, and health care organizations.
Kotler has done more than virtually anyone to cement marketing’s reputation as a serious business discipline. “When I am asked to define marketing in the briefest possible way, I say marketing is ‘meeting needs profitably’. A lot of us meet needs – but businesses are set up to do it profitably.. marketing is the homework that you do to hit the mark that satisfies the needs of the target market.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAND WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON TO HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR THINKING ON BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT?
Businesses are finally grasping the winning companies choose target segments and customers and make them central to developing their strategy and operations. Customer focus is critical in a world no longer marked by a shortage of goods but by a shortage of customers.
I am deeply influenced by the late Peter Drucker, who observed some decades ago that “marketing .. is the whole business seen from the point of view of the its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view.” Drucker insisted that a company has only two functions: innovation and marketing. I have been called the Father of Modern Marketing. But if thats the case, Peter Drucker is the Grandfather of Modern Marketing.
COMPARED TO THE LAST 50 YEARS , HOW WILL BUSINESS BE DIFFERENT IN THE 21ST CENTURY?
Technology will have the deepest impact on business. We have already witnessed the impact of lean and flexible manufacturing, computers, the Internet, and wireless. Business success in the future will require knowledge workers who are skilled in specific technologies that might confer a competitive advantage to the firm.
WHAT EFFECT HAS THE ADVENT OF THE NEW ECONOMY AND THE INTERNET HAD ON YOUR THINKING AND ON MARKETING?
I became fascinated with the potentials of e-commerce and e-business for business success. At first I thought that pure click operators such as Amazon and Yahoo would have a tremendous competitive advantage, as they owned few physical assets. My mind changed when I saw how much they had to spend on marketing to build their brand and attract and keep customers.
I believe the Internet will fundamentally change business and marketing practice. The price transparency of the Internet will put great pressure on the prices. The growth of business to business websites and extranets will reduce the number of sales people involved in routine sakes work. Companies will increasingly differentiate their product and service offerings to different tiers of customers .
In my 12th edition of marketing management, I show how customers, companies, competitors, and marketplaces are impacted on the information age . The changes will be more profound with improvements in broadband and m-marketing where cellular phones become our source of e-mail, the internet, chatting and even a payment system replacing all credit cards.