“What Next?” – An Interview with Philip Kotler on the Future of Marketing
Philip Kotler is the “father of modern marketing.” He is the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He was voted the first Leader in Marketing Thought by the American Marketing Association and named The Founder of Modern Marketing Management in the Handbook of Management Thinking. Professor Kotler holds major awards including the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Distinguished Marketing Educator Award and Distinguished Educator Award from The Academy of Marketing Science. The Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) named him Marketer of the Year and the American Marketing Association described him as “the most influential marketer of all time.” He is in the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame, and is featured as a “guru” in the Economist.
Phil, you’re called the “father of marketing”…
Actually, marketing has several fathers of marketing. Marketing has been around for over 100 years. We could mention many marketing luminaries who had a great impact on our marketing theory and practice.
I have been labeled the “father of modern marketing.” This is the result of two things. My marketing textbooks have been used around the world for the last 45 years. I published Marketing Management in 1967 and it is now in its 15th edition. I have also written about 50 other marketing books and over 150 scholarly articles.
If I am the “Father of Modern Marketing,” I would call Peter Drucker the “Grandfather of Modern Marketing” for all the brilliant insights and statements that he made about the critical importance of marketing in managing a business.
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Philip Kotler answers the following questions:
- With over 50 year of experience in the field, what do you see as the biggest challenges for marketers today?
- How is marketing automation and Big Data changing marketing? What are the new competencies that companies must master? What does the future hold for the CMO?
- How do sales and marketing work together in the digital age? Is alignment easier or more of a challenge?
- What are companies doing differently to innovate? Are there some marketing innovations that you feel could change the way the industry works?
- What about CSR? Do you see companies focusing on sustainability and ethics as a business strength? As someone who coined the phrase “social marketing,” how do you see companies responding?
- What message do you have for emerging markets like China and India?
- Your latest book – “Confronting Capitalism” – was quite a shift from the more traditional fare we’ve been accustomed to as marketers. What made you write that book?
- What’s the next book about? What else are you working on?