Marketing communication mix Philip Kotler
Philip Kotler, the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, is widely regarded as the Father of Modern Marketing. He trained as an economist at the University of Chicago, learning from the legendary Milton Friedman. He later did his PhD at MIT under the guidance of Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Samuelson.
Kotler rose to the forefront in the field of marketing in 1967 when he authored the seminal textbook Marketing Management. The book cut through the clutter by introducing rigor and mathematical analysis to the field of marketing. Ever since, the book became the marketing Bible for MBA students. More than four decades have gone by, and 14 editions of the book have been published and Kotler’s popularity has grown.
One of Kotler’s biggest contributions to the field of marketing was popularizing the idea of the Marketing Mix, also known as the Four Ps of Marketing, an idea first proposed by an academic Jerome McCarthy in 1960. The Four Ps stand for ‘product’, ‘price’, ‘place’ (i.e., distribution) and ‘promotion’ (i.e., advertising). According to Kotler, “(The) Marketing Mix is the set of controllable variables that the firm can use to influence the buyer’s response.” These four variables help a company develop a unique selling point as well as a brand image.
With the rise of the internet and the advent of new concepts like social media, e-commerce and digital marketing, critics started questioning the relevance of the classic Four Ps model of marketing. Some proclaimed that the Four Ps model is dead. Take ‘promotion’. Many brands like Google, for instance, never really advertised, yet they became so popular. The rise of social media itself started to bring into question the classic notion of ‘promotion’. Similarly with the rise of e-commerce, the idea of ‘place’ doesn’t have the same relevance as before.
Yet Kotler chooses to staunchly defend the concept. In this interview he explains why the Four Ps are still relevant, how the marketing landscape has evolved and the impact of digital media.
Q. As someone who literally laid the foundations of the study of marketing, how do you view the changes in the marketing landscape over the last five decades?
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Kotler on Marketing: How to Create, Win, and Dominate Markets
Book (Free Press)
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