“Marketing as a tool not utilised enough in India” – Philip Kotler at Great Lakes

Speaking with the students on his new formula for marketing, Dr Kotler varied from his popular theory of 4Ps and emphasised on the customer and not the product. The 4Ps of marketing as earlier propounded by Dr Kotler are product, price, promotion and place. “We have to look beyond the 4Ps. Value addition to the customer is more important than the product itself,” he said. Called the CCDV, it stands for creating, communicating and delivering value.

Kotler further said, “Marketing as a tool is under-utilised in its potential in India and worldwide. It has to be seen as a strategic function that looks three years ahead.” He added that he found “the Indian economy highly entrepreneurial”. The ‘dabbawaalas’ of Mumbai and the innovation of cigarettes being sold singly (due to the lack of affordability of an entire pack), particularly intrigued him.

“In the era of globalisation and technology boom, where customers are very well informed, and their needs are evasive and ever changing, only the players availing aggressive ‘New Marketing’ techniques stand a chance,” Kotler noted.

The new marketing techniques, according to him, included: Guerilla Marketing – hitting the street literally and capturing the attention of end users; Product Placement – placing products in movies, appearing at a prime time popular talk show to market yourself, and festival marketing; Ideating – out of the box thinking or being off-beat can help score a few brownie points with one’s customers; Traditional Techniques – PR, advertising, telemarketing, direct marketing coupled with use of the Internet for e-marketing, etc., factored into work could be an effective success formula.

Prof Bala V Balachandran, J.L Kellogg distinguished professor of accounting and information systems at Kellogg school of management, Northeastern University, Chicago, and Founder & Honarary Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management also spoke at the occasion. Students, alumni participated in huge numbers and Kotler enthusiastically replied for several questions raised by the students.

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