Published on March 19th, 2013 | by drkkr


A day with Philip Kotler – learning redefined. #drkkr

Philip Kotler and Marketing are like two sides of a coin. March 15, 2013 : Here he is live and direct, he always has a special place in my heart.My interest in marketing is purely because of his book, theories, insights and concepts. I am meeting Philip Kotler for the second time in the last 7 years, this time spent a day with him on his day long training programme which he conducted recently on the future of marketing in Gurgaon,  Delhi. Now i have been certified… hmm. I have blogged here my learning’s from the training programme of the  Father of marketing  :

Marketing has served only two billion of the seven billion people on the planet. “We live in an oversupplied world and what is in short supply is the customers,” said Kotler. He began his session by explaining how ‘purpose’ should be the fifth P of marketing for any company across the globe. “Indian managers must find ways to bring down the cost of goods and services to include more people in the consumption cycle. Two things can be instrumental in building the middle classes in India: improved governance and better marketing,” he said.

Kotler appreciated how Indians are blessed with the right entrepreneurial and analytical skills required to build global brands. At the same time he pointed how there are no popular global brands from India and China. Right now there aren’t Indian brands that are truly global. You can say Tata, but the average American doesn’t know a Tata Nano (but again, Americans are insular). I believe Asia will spawn a lot of brands that will become global.  Isn’t it interesting that some of the smallest countries in the world have the most brands, like Switzerland. Yet they are able to create the brands differently. He asked young marketers not to be satisfied with just building brand preference. According to him, the best marketing is done on ground where buyers are present. “Over the years, the whole idea of marketing as a function that identifies opportunities and calibrates size seems to be diluting. Marketing is certainly not a synonym for advertising as it is understood by some managers today,” he added. Citing Samsung’s example, he explained how companies should improve their products regularly to stay on top. As a habit, Samsung studies companies from various categories and use their wisdom. Sharing a few names he explained how emerging market multi-national companies (EMNCs) like Acer, Airtel, LG, and Tata Motors are already giving sleepless nights to many MNCs.

Elaborating on the significance of digital media, he said that in a world where customers are in full control of your brand, it is important to go digital. “Begin by allocating 10 per cent of your media spends on digital and hire a social media nerd, if needed,” he said. Kotler talked about the two mistakes companies make on social media marketing. One is to do nothing about it and the second, he said, is for companies to say social media marketing is all that is there. Propagating a judicious balance between traditional and digital marketing : “The old media of marketing are still alive and kicking quite well, thank you. We need to blend the two judiciously today to get the best results.”
One of the most gripping points  was on the changing relationship between the CEO and the CMO. The job of today’s CMO has moved beyond controlling just the four Ps of marketing – product, price, place and promotion. The new expectations of the CEO include better understanding of market segmentation, target audience and positioning. Over the years, the focus has shifted from product and customer management to brand and value management. During one of the panel discussions, Kotler suggested how marketing teams can be divided into ‘tactical’ and ‘strategic’. While the former can look into fulfilling quarterly targets, the latter team can focus on building long-term brand building.

Outsourcing non-core marketing functions has become a norm in today’s marketing with companies working with more than nine vendors at a given time for functions like research and advertising. Welcoming this idea, Kotler told marketers not to be afraid while doing this. He also urged the panel to try and understand the power of crowd sourcing  “Why not place your brand in the hands of the consumer and ask them to create your next campaign? Many brands have tasted success by doing this in the past,” he said.
In addition to feedback, ‘feed-forward’ is equally important in marketing. “It’s not about saying, ‘We have 20% market share’ , but about saying , ‘Why are 80% of people not buying from us?’,” he said. Kotler also said that marketers must remember that the focus of marketing has changed over time. In the 1950s it was product management; in the 70s it was customer management; in the 90s it was brand management, and today it is value management. “Don’t tell your customers about your brand but what the brand stands for to be successful in the market,” he said.Also, the mission of an organisation today should be not to deliver satisfaction or realize aspiration but to practice compassion. Similarly, the vision should be sustainability not profitability, and value should be to make a difference and not just differentiation.

Thank you Dr Philip Kotler for your books  your theories and concepts, now should i say thank you for your teachings. It is an honor to be there the entire day right in-front of you.



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