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Author Topic: Q/A round with THE GURU of Marketing - Dr. Philip Kotler  (Read 5915 times)

Offline anurag08

Q/A round with THE GURU of Marketing - Dr. Philip Kotler
« on: December 18, 2007, 01:04 PM »
Dr. Kotler is in India on an invitation from Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.
Even in his hectic schedule, he spent an hour on the Rediff Chat on Thursday, July 20, 2006, responding to readers' queries on marketing, planning, growth of the retail market as a brand .....

The illuminating chat transcript is as follows: -

Visitor 1: Hi Phillip! This is a rather different question. Do you think the principles of marketing apply in the terror networks?
Especially, the way Al Qaeda seem to be operating - without the hierarchical elements of the traditional organizations, does it pose a challenge to marketing thought? And do you think it is possible for intellectuals to make a change there - for good?

Dr. Philip Kotler: You are raising an interesting question. There are a lot of markets that are underground. Even if you look at hard drug distribution, you know they are making use of the principles of distribution. In the case of terrorist networks, they are operating with marketing principles. Instead of using reason and propaganda, they are using fear. I don't want to think of marketing being corrupted to their ends. If you really wanted to win power, they would think much differently about how to market their cause. I think their methods are self-defeating.


Visitor 2: Hello Sir, how can micro-finance help to achieve the GDP growth of country?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Marketing has neglected the poor (85% of the people) because they don't have much money. It is time to remedy this. I am researching strategies for alleviating poverty and will write a book describing such strategies. Micro-finance is one of those strategies. It works on the principle that there are members of the poor who are entrepreneurial but who lack capital. Now there are lenders who will help them buy, for example, a cell phone where the borrower can sell single phone calls, recover the cost, and repay the loan, at a profit. Micro-finance is one of the most promising approaches. However, it won't lift the GDP very much initially, but over time will help.


Visitor 3: Sir, I m a big fan of yours. What are the opportunities for Ph.D. in Marketing and Economics under you?

Dr. Philip Kotler: I am pleased to hear that you want to get a Ph.D. in Marketing and Economics. This means that you want to do research to add to marketing knowledge and also to teach. I am not available, however, because of other commitments. There are many fine programs in my country where you can get a Ph.D. in Marketing.


Visitor 4: I am a Product Manager with Microsoft, and one of the biggest challenges that the company is facing is changing the perceptions of the company over the quality of the product. How do you change a brand perception using a quality product?

Dr. Philip Kotler: My experience with Microsoft is that some years ago they would develop new software without much input or participation by marketing. Some of the software was overly complex and failed to win a following. In the last three years, my colleagues at the Kellogg School - Dipak Jain and Mohan Sawhney - have been teaching Microsoft how to upgrade its marketing skill and include marketers in developing new products. To my knowledge, the success rate is now higher because of the marketing participation in new product development.


Visitor 5: Hello Sir, how can IT sector revolutionize Indian rural villages in terms of economy, marketing and social upliftment?

Dr. Philip Kotler: India's largest sector, the rural sector, will benefit greatly when we are able to make and distribute $100 computers to villages. The farmers will get more information on crop prices and what to plant. Families will get more information on health and educational opportunities. IT will affect a revolution in the rural area.


Visitor 6: To what extent the Net economy would influence the business environment in next 5 to 10 years? I see lot of business being done over net, especially in USA, just wondering how long it may take to have similar kind of trends in developing economies like India and China. If it does, would the same business models that exist in developed markets be applicable to these upcoming economies?

Dr. Philip Kotler: I don't think that you will have to wait long to see the Net economy pouring into India, especially in the city and business sectors. Its use, I believe, will increase at an increasing rate and leave behind those businesses that are not alert enough to realize its power to carry on business more efficiently.


Visitor 7: Sir, what do you think should be the approach that an MNC should take in a diverse country (especially based on language and culture) like India when it is trying to market its product over the Internet?

Dr. Philip Kotler: One answer is to concentrate to serving the online interests of one group rather than try to satisfy all cultures. Another answer is to offer different entry points into the Web site for different communities where the language - and even offer-mix - is varied.


Visitor 8: What do you feel about the marketing consultation business, and its future?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Some of the largest multinationals will make use of firms like McKinsey and Accenture for advice and assistance. Smaller businesses will use consultants recommended by their friends and acquaintances. The real problem is that of finding a good consultant who is worth the money. I have published a book called Marketing Professional Services in which I advise consultants how they can create and maintain visibility and a solid reputation.


Visitor 9: Hello. What do you think is the secret behind the success of big brand names like Coca Cola?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Major brand names have been created in the past by a heavy use of mass advertising accompanying an excellent product. But the efficiency of mass advertising is on a decline and marketers are searching for new ways to deliver brand-building messages efficiently. The closer they can come to using word-of-mouth techniques and buzz, the more the credibility of these messages. Try to read articles and books on buzz, guerrilla marketing, etc. Read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.


Visitor 10: You address marketing on a pure basis. But when one-steps into the world market, one understands that almost 50-60% of buying is done by Govts. Most parts of the world where Govt is involved, there is corruption. In such cases, what is the role of marketing? Is there a special marketing management for corrupt markets?

Dr. Philip Kotler: No, marketing textbook has dealt with this difficult question of how to respond in the face of corruption. It is hard to stand by and see less efficient competitors win the bid because they paid a corruption "tax" to get the business.
U.S. companies cannot play in this field because of the Anti-Corruption laws that would jail U.S. business people who engage in this practice. One answer is to avoid doing business with government and focus on private industry. Unfortunately, corrupt practices are found there as well. Until a mass movement of business people to clean out corruption occurs, a business would be best to stay away from government and industries that require this tax.


Visitor 11: Do you think that in Retailing there is not so much necessarily of branding of all items sold, but only the branding of retail store?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Stores themselves will be seen as a brand whether or not they do conscious brand building. So why not sit down as a retailer and decide on what you want to be known for? A fast service store? A store of the lowest prices (Wal-Mart)? A store full of surprises in its merchandise? Once you decide on what types of customers that you want to serve, and how you will serve them, you can undertake the work of transmitting the image that you want.


Visitor 12: Does the brand have any value in today's world where we see the life cycle of a brand and innovation is of such a short duration, which leads me to ask a question - how much must we concentrate on brand building verses INNOVATION, which I guess was one of your theory in wealth of nation?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Product life cycles are truly getting shorter because of an increased number of competitors from here and abroad, and their readiness to copy anything that seems to be taking off. This was the problem faced by Steve Jobs with his iPod where he knew that all the electronic firms would rapidly come in with their iPod versions. But he is a marketing genius and instead of defending in his innovation with expensive advertising, he defended it with more innovation. He upgraded the iPod to carry photos as well while his competitors were only carrying music. Then he moved on to video. He obviously has mapped out a marketing trajectory for his product development, which keeps the competitors always lagging. This is a lesson for all of us. The same marketing magic is being worked by Howard Schultz of Starbucks who continues to add new innovations to the coffee service business.


Visitor 13: In a cut-throat dog-eat-dog industry like telecom/ISP where number of subscribers have to be ramped up at a rapid pace, otherwise competition will grab it. So with low marketing budgets, which comes first - tactical marketing or build the brand first? Its a chicken and egg story.

Dr. Philip Kotler: Telecom is an industry where it is hard to hold on to subscribers when their contract is up, because there is always another service provider who will offer a lower price. Some telecoms lose as much as 30% of their customers this way. Building the brand is required partly to get new subscribers to have confidence in the telecom. But price is the major driver. Telecoms must seek to be low cost operators so that they can use price to attract new subscribers. For their current subscribers, they may make incentive offers to renew. Thus, a heavy user whose subscription is about to end should be given a gift of some kind for renewing (even a price reduction).


Visitor 14: Are Indian corporate good enough to compete at the International level or do they have a long way to go?

Dr. Philip Kotler: I am impressed with a number of Indian corporations and their management. Look at what Mittal is accomplishing to rationalize the world steel industry. Look at how Infosys, Wipro and others have set up huge and impressive campuses for training and attracting new business clients who tangibly see highly professional companies to serve their interests. In the last 6 months, Indian companies acquired 85 foreign companies, while foreign companies only acquired 35 Indian companies. India is on a roll.


Visitor 15: Phil, how easy or difficult is it for marketers to apply the marketing frameworks in developing markets vis-a-vis developed markets? Is it at all possible to have well-defined frameworks for developing markets?

Dr. Philip Kotler: The marketing framework is very elastic. It has to be because the best marketing is often local. Companies that over-standardize their marketing practice around the world can suffer. McDonald's is not No. 1 in the Philippines. Jolly Bee took the lead because they adapted the hamburger to local tastes. To make sure that my marketing recommendations make sense in India, I chose two highly regarded marketing academics to co-write an Indian edition of the 12th edition of Marketing Management that will be published in the next few months. They are Professor Koshy of IIM Ahmedabad and Professor Jha of IIM Bangalore. They are Indianizing the book because we believe in maximizing the value of the lessons.


Visitor 16: Mr. Kotler, do you think that companies indulge in some kind of false assurances and false publicities while marketing their products?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Marketers tend to exaggerate the benefits and raise the expectations regarding their product. Most consumers are aware that buying a certain shampoo brand is not going to have men fall in love with you. So consumers generally are not fooled by exaggerated claims. But what is less tolerable is outright lying about the product or service. In the long run, such companies destroy themselves, increasingly because the Internet allows consumers to broadcast (via blogs) to other consumers about both good and bad companies.



Dr. Philip Kotler: Your questions are numerous and very thoughtful. I regret that we have had only an hour for our conversation. I wish the best for the further development of the Indian economy.

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vikrantagarwal

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Re: Q/A round with THE GURU of Marketing - Dr. Philip Kotler
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 05:32 AM »
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Dr. Kotler is in India on an invitation from Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.
Even in his hectic schedule, he spent an hour on the Rediff Chat on Thursday, July 20, 2006, responding to readers' queries on marketing, planning, growth of the retail market as a brand .....

The illuminating chat transcript is as follows: -

Visitor 1: Hi Phillip! This is a rather different question. Do you think the principles of marketing apply in the terror networks?
Especially, the way Al Qaeda seem to be operating - without the hierarchical elements of the traditional organizations, does it pose a challenge to marketing thought? And do you think it is possible for intellectuals to make a change there - for good?

Dr. Philip Kotler: You are raising an interesting question. There are a lot of markets that are underground. Even if you look at hard drug distribution, you know they are making use of the principles of distribution. In the case of terrorist networks, they are operating with marketing principles. Instead of using reason and propaganda, they are using fear. I don't want to think of marketing being corrupted to their ends. If you really wanted to win power, they would think much differently about how to market their cause. I think their methods are self-defeating.


Visitor 2: Hello Sir, how can micro-finance help to achieve the GDP growth of country?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Marketing has neglected the poor (85% of the people) because they don't have much money. It is time to remedy this. I am researching strategies for alleviating poverty and will write a book describing such strategies. Micro-finance is one of those strategies. It works on the principle that there are members of the poor who are entrepreneurial but who lack capital. Now there are lenders who will help them buy, for example, a cell phone where the borrower can sell single phone calls, recover the cost, and repay the loan, at a profit. Micro-finance is one of the most promising approaches. However, it won't lift the GDP very much initially, but over time will help.


Visitor 3: Sir, I m a big fan of yours. What are the opportunities for Ph.D. in Marketing and Economics under you?

Dr. Philip Kotler: I am pleased to hear that you want to get a Ph.D. in Marketing and Economics. This means that you want to do research to add to marketing knowledge and also to teach. I am not available, however, because of other commitments. There are many fine programs in my country where you can get a Ph.D. in Marketing.


Visitor 4: I am a Product Manager with Microsoft, and one of the biggest challenges that the company is facing is changing the perceptions of the company over the quality of the product. How do you change a brand perception using a quality product?

Dr. Philip Kotler: My experience with Microsoft is that some years ago they would develop new software without much input or participation by marketing. Some of the software was overly complex and failed to win a following. In the last three years, my colleagues at the Kellogg School - Dipak Jain and Mohan Sawhney - have been teaching Microsoft how to upgrade its marketing skill and include marketers in developing new products. To my knowledge, the success rate is now higher because of the marketing participation in new product development.


Visitor 5: Hello Sir, how can IT sector revolutionize Indian rural villages in terms of economy, marketing and social upliftment?

Dr. Philip Kotler: India's largest sector, the rural sector, will benefit greatly when we are able to make and distribute $100 computers to villages. The farmers will get more information on crop prices and what to plant. Families will get more information on health and educational opportunities. IT will affect a revolution in the rural area.


Visitor 6: To what extent the Net economy would influence the business environment in next 5 to 10 years? I see lot of business being done over net, especially in USA, just wondering how long it may take to have similar kind of trends in developing economies like India and China. If it does, would the same business models that exist in developed markets be applicable to these upcoming economies?

Dr. Philip Kotler: I don't think that you will have to wait long to see the Net economy pouring into India, especially in the city and business sectors. Its use, I believe, will increase at an increasing rate and leave behind those businesses that are not alert enough to realize its power to carry on business more efficiently.


Visitor 7: Sir, what do you think should be the approach that an MNC should take in a diverse country (especially based on language and culture) like India when it is trying to market its product over the Internet?

Dr. Philip Kotler: One answer is to concentrate to serving the online interests of one group rather than try to satisfy all cultures. Another answer is to offer different entry points into the Web site for different communities where the language - and even offer-mix - is varied.


Visitor 8: What do you feel about the marketing consultation business, and its future?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Some of the largest multinationals will make use of firms like McKinsey and Accenture for advice and assistance. Smaller businesses will use consultants recommended by their friends and acquaintances. The real problem is that of finding a good consultant who is worth the money. I have published a book called Marketing Professional Services in which I advise consultants how they can create and maintain visibility and a solid reputation.


Visitor 9: Hello. What do you think is the secret behind the success of big brand names like Coca Cola?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Major brand names have been created in the past by a heavy use of mass advertising accompanying an excellent product. But the efficiency of mass advertising is on a decline and marketers are searching for new ways to deliver brand-building messages efficiently. The closer they can come to using word-of-mouth techniques and buzz, the more the credibility of these messages. Try to read articles and books on buzz, guerrilla marketing, etc. Read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.


Visitor 10: You address marketing on a pure basis. But when one-steps into the world market, one understands that almost 50-60% of buying is done by Govts. Most parts of the world where Govt is involved, there is corruption. In such cases, what is the role of marketing? Is there a special marketing management for corrupt markets?

Dr. Philip Kotler: No, marketing textbook has dealt with this difficult question of how to respond in the face of corruption. It is hard to stand by and see less efficient competitors win the bid because they paid a corruption "tax" to get the business.
U.S. companies cannot play in this field because of the Anti-Corruption laws that would jail U.S. business people who engage in this practice. One answer is to avoid doing business with government and focus on private industry. Unfortunately, corrupt practices are found there as well. Until a mass movement of business people to clean out corruption occurs, a business would be best to stay away from government and industries that require this tax.


Visitor 11: Do you think that in Retailing there is not so much necessarily of branding of all items sold, but only the branding of retail store?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Stores themselves will be seen as a brand whether or not they do conscious brand building. So why not sit down as a retailer and decide on what you want to be known for? A fast service store? A store of the lowest prices (Wal-Mart)? A store full of surprises in its merchandise? Once you decide on what types of customers that you want to serve, and how you will serve them, you can undertake the work of transmitting the image that you want.


Visitor 12: Does the brand have any value in today's world where we see the life cycle of a brand and innovation is of such a short duration, which leads me to ask a question - how much must we concentrate on brand building verses INNOVATION, which I guess was one of your theory in wealth of nation?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Product life cycles are truly getting shorter because of an increased number of competitors from here and abroad, and their readiness to copy anything that seems to be taking off. This was the problem faced by Steve Jobs with his iPod where he knew that all the electronic firms would rapidly come in with their iPod versions. But he is a marketing genius and instead of defending in his innovation with expensive advertising, he defended it with more innovation. He upgraded the iPod to carry photos as well while his competitors were only carrying music. Then he moved on to video. He obviously has mapped out a marketing trajectory for his product development, which keeps the competitors always lagging. This is a lesson for all of us. The same marketing magic is being worked by Howard Schultz of Starbucks who continues to add new innovations to the coffee service business.


Visitor 13: In a cut-throat dog-eat-dog industry like telecom/ISP where number of subscribers have to be ramped up at a rapid pace, otherwise competition will grab it. So with low marketing budgets, which comes first - tactical marketing or build the brand first? Its a chicken and egg story.

Dr. Philip Kotler: Telecom is an industry where it is hard to hold on to subscribers when their contract is up, because there is always another service provider who will offer a lower price. Some telecoms lose as much as 30% of their customers this way. Building the brand is required partly to get new subscribers to have confidence in the telecom. But price is the major driver. Telecoms must seek to be low cost operators so that they can use price to attract new subscribers. For their current subscribers, they may make incentive offers to renew. Thus, a heavy user whose subscription is about to end should be given a gift of some kind for renewing (even a price reduction).


Visitor 14: Are Indian corporate good enough to compete at the International level or do they have a long way to go?

Dr. Philip Kotler: I am impressed with a number of Indian corporations and their management. Look at what Mittal is accomplishing to rationalize the world steel industry. Look at how Infosys, Wipro and others have set up huge and impressive campuses for training and attracting new business clients who tangibly see highly professional companies to serve their interests. In the last 6 months, Indian companies acquired 85 foreign companies, while foreign companies only acquired 35 Indian companies. India is on a roll.


Visitor 15: Phil, how easy or difficult is it for marketers to apply the marketing frameworks in developing markets vis-a-vis developed markets? Is it at all possible to have well-defined frameworks for developing markets?

Dr. Philip Kotler: The marketing framework is very elastic. It has to be because the best marketing is often local. Companies that over-standardize their marketing practice around the world can suffer. McDonald's is not No. 1 in the Philippines. Jolly Bee took the lead because they adapted the hamburger to local tastes. To make sure that my marketing recommendations make sense in India, I chose two highly regarded marketing academics to co-write an Indian edition of the 12th edition of Marketing Management that will be published in the next few months. They are Professor Koshy of IIM Ahmedabad and Professor Jha of IIM Bangalore. They are Indianizing the book because we believe in maximizing the value of the lessons.


Visitor 16: Mr. Kotler, do you think that companies indulge in some kind of false assurances and false publicities while marketing their products?

Dr. Philip Kotler: Marketers tend to exaggerate the benefits and raise the expectations regarding their product. Most consumers are aware that buying a certain shampoo brand is not going to have men fall in love with you. So consumers generally are not fooled by exaggerated claims. But what is less tolerable is outright lying about the product or service. In the long run, such companies destroy themselves, increasingly because the Internet allows consumers to broadcast (via blogs) to other consumers about both good and bad companies.



Dr. Philip Kotler: Your questions are numerous and very thoughtful. I regret that we have had only an hour for our conversation. I wish the best for the further development of the Indian economy.

Sir, What an organisation in FMCG sector can do to be a benchmark supplier?
 

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