Five Marketing Truths from Philip Kotler

Human beings are hard wired for marketing. We are constantly selling ourselves, our ideas, and our needs to one another, and those who are most effective at convincing others are often leaders in society.

But marketing as an art and a topic of study is relatively new. Only in the 20th century did it become a staple in business schools and bookstore shelfs as it is today. And one of the first men to champion marketing as something to master was Philip Kotler.

Kotler has written more than 55 books and 150 articles including Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, and Control, a textbook so prolific that if you are in school now, you probably have it on your shelf or in your book bag as you read this. So there is no arguing the influence of a man who introduced the idea of marketing ideas, causes, places and people – the backbone of the modern branding movement.

This is a marketing thought leader if ever there was one. So for those that have yet to read Kotler’s books or who are a little rusty out of school, let’s take a closer look at five truths about modern marketing and how they apply to everything we promote, sell, and market today, even in a recently digitalized economy.

“You should never go to battle before you’e won the war on paper. The good news is that Marketing takes an hour to learn. The bad news is that it takes a lifetime to master.”

Anyone can market a product. Brainstorm an idea, put it down on paper, and make a plan. That’s step one and it takes no time.

Testing that plan, evaluating how it performs, and mastering an understanding of your audience? That will take a lifetime to do.

It’s why you never stop reading and learning, even when your education is complete.

“Every business is a service business. You are not a chemical company. You are a chemical services business. Does your service put a “smile” on the customer’s face?”

This is one of Kotler’s biggest teachings. The sale is not about the products you sell, but the experience you give your customers.

If you can make people happy and stand out as the best partner in their success, they will choose your brand over another every time.

“I don’t care what happened to your profits. Have you improved your share of the customer’s mind and heart this year? It is no longer enough to satisfy your customers. You must delight them.”

This is huge, especially in modern marketing where every business has a competitor who can beat them on price.

Why do people buy Apple products when they cost more and often have fewer features than competitors? Because those products tell a story their customers want to hear, and are representative of a brand they want to be part of.

There’s something magical about an iPhone or Macbook that other devices cannot match.

“The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low-cost producer is the only winner.”

Price wars will hurt your company, especially if you have a quality product. Instead you need to stand out on everything else – create relationships and build a brand that transcends the idea of pricing.

If you understand this and how to use modern, digital tools to make it a reality, you will be a hot brand yourself when it comes time to apply for new jobs.

“Every company should work to obsolete its product line…before competitors do. The major cause of company failure is company success.”

It’s easy to become conservative and work to preserve what you already have. But in a digital economy, this is more dangerous than ever before.

It’s how companies like Blockbuster and Circuit City disappeared so fast. They didn’t work to innovate and grow before their competitors pushed them into obsolescence.

If you showcase your ability to think outside of proverbial boxes for your company, you will stand out as a valuable asset in the constant push to stay one step ahead of competitor innovation.

As you can imagine, this is a man who has had a huge impact on how we think about marketing today, and he still does. If you’re not reading his work, start, but don’t stop there. The best thing about marketing is that it is always evolving.

From experiments being run by marketers to the development of new understandings in social psychology, how we interact with customers and brands is constantly changing. The better you understand those changes, the better prepared you will be to deal with them and excel as you pursue a career in marketing.

About the Author

Featured on websites in more than a dozens countries, Anthony Chatfield has consulted with business leaders, Fortune 500 companies, and entrepreneurs for much of the last decade.

Anthony founded two companies in content development and marketing and currently provides private consulting services for the online-side of small and medium sized business’s marketing campaigns.

Anthony currently lives in Staten Island, NY and produces marketing and content development training on numerous websites.

For more information, visit his Google+ Page.