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Father’s Week: A Father Of Modern Marketing–Philip Kotler

father of marketing - Stikky Media

In keeping with our weeklong Father’s Day blogging theme, we want to share someone that many in the business world consider to be the father of modern marketing: Philip Kotler.

Who’s Philip Kotler?

Philip Kotler was born in Chicago in May of 1931, and attended college at DePaul University, before transferring to the University of Chicago. He would eventually complete his PhD in economics at MIT in 1956. Three of his teachers were Nobel Prize laureates in economics: Milton Friedman, Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow.

Not long after, in 1962, Kotler started teaching at Northwestern University, where he still works today as the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management.

What are Kotler’s ideas about marketing?

Kotler has now published over 55 books, as well as over 150 articles throughout the marketing and management world. He’s had a lot to say about marketing, and still studies the subject today. He was among the first to articulate that demand was not only a function of price, but also of advertising, promotion, direct sales and other marketing and distribution channels. He believes that at the heart of marketing lies a single driving principle: the well-being of the consumer.

Kotler also developed the idea that marketing applies not only to products and services, but also to non-profits and government services. According to him, marketing can (and should) be applied to causes, persons, ideas and places to be effective in attracting support and building influence. Personal branding through social media is a contemporary example of marketing applied to a person, for example.

Of course, given his prolific writing life, his thoughts cannot be summarized in a few sentences. There’s a lot more to say, but unfortunately too little space to do so!

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What has Kotler been recognized for?

Kotler’s marketing consulting company, Kotler Marketing Group, has worked with large companies such as Microsoft, American Express, Ford, Blue Cross, and many others. Without a doubt, Kotler’s influence can be recognized not just in a marketing standpoint, but throughout the business community worldwide.

Kotler has also been recognized many times for his contributions to marketing. He was ranked multiple years in the top ten of Thinkers50: Top 50 Global Marketing Management Contributors and has topped several other lists of marketing and business leaders. He was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame just this past May, as well as inducted into the Management Hall of Fame last year.

He holds 17 different honorary doctorates from institutions worldwide, and has received countless other marketing awards and distinctions. He was also immortalized on an Indonesian stamp in 2006.

What has been Kotler’s influence on modern marketing?

Kotler has left many ripples throughout the marketing world, starting with his acclaimed marketing textbook Marketing Management, which is still studied throughout the world. Marketing Management is now in its 14th edition and has been translated into over 25 languages. This textbook is still considered the golden standard for teaching future business leaders the analysis, planning and control of marketing activities.

The influence of Kotler can be seen all through the marketing world, from his work on management and marketing strategies to his focus on teaching new ways to think about marketing. Novice and veteran marketers can all find something to learn in the teachings and experiences of Philip Kotler, and that is why he is without a doubt, a father, pioneer and master of modern marketing.

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