wisdom to win

 Wisdom to Win
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Philip Kotler (1931- )Philip Kotler


American professor (pictured right) and author of the influential marketing textbook, Marketing Management (see below).


Key book


Marketing Management (1st edition,1967)


Marketing aims to satisfy people’s needs and wants with products that provide service or solutions (e.g. transport from a car).


A product can be a:

  • physical object (e.g. a hamburger in McDonald’s).
  • service (e.g. the seating and cooking).
  • idea (linked to solutions e.g. fast food saves me time).


Marketing isn’t just selling or a transaction but a relationship with the customer.


Marketing is based upon the “marketing concept” that says an organization’s success depends on satisfying customers’ needs and wants better than competitors.


Customer satisfaction involves:


1. Market focus

Targeting a market or particular part of it (a niche or market segment).

Market segmentation splits customers up into various categories like income and social class.


2. Customer orientation

  • seeing the world from customers’ point of view.
  • delighting customers through product differentiation (making a product that is unique, distinctive and superior to competitors).


3. Co-ordinated marketing

(ensuring that everybody in the organization delivers the best possible service to customers).

This requires “internal marketing” (hiring and motivating customer friendly employees).


4. Profitability

Marketing (customer satisfaction) creates profit now and in the future (due to repeat purchases and customer loyalty).

But marketing is just as useful for nonprofit organizations like schools and hospitals, because they have customers, too!

The “social marketing concept” says that organizations have a duty to satisfy people’s social and ethical needs like health and environmental protection.


5. The marketing mix

The marketing activities necessary for customer satisfaction (the marketing mix) can be summarized as the 4 P’s:

  • product.
  • price.
  • place (distribution – getting the product from producer to consumer).
  • promotion (including advertising).


Despite its benefits, many organizations ignore the marketing concept and customer satisfaction because of:


1. The product concept 

Emphasizing the product not the customer.


2. Internal resistance 

Employees and departments putting their interests before customers.


3. Slow learning 

Being slow to put customers first.


4. Fast forgetting

Being customer focused and then forgetting to do it.


Key quote on marketing (from the ninth edition, 1997)

Ultimately, marketing is the art of attracting and keeping profitable customers.


Key quotes on products

A difference is only worth establishing to the extent that it is important, distinctive, superior, communicable, pre-emptive affordable and profitable (talking about product differentiation).

In a competitive industry, the key to competitive advantage is product differentiation.


Key quote on the service profit chain

It makes no sense to promise excellent service before the company’s staff is ready to provide excellent service.



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