Chennai played host to one of the world’s leading experts on the strategic practice of marketing – Philip Kotler – on July 17, 2006. Kotler was in the southern city to launch the 12th edition of his quintessential marketing textbook ‘Marketing Management’. Incidentally, the launch coincided with the marketing guru’s 75th birthday.
This edition, which gives ‘A South Asian Perspective’, has been published by Pearson Education and co-authored by Professor Kevin Lane, and given an Indian tint by Professor Abraham Koshy of IIM-A and Professor Mithileshwar Jha of IIM-B.
Kotler, who is on the advisory board of the Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, founded by Bala V Balachandran, has had a long association with India. He had focused on the agricultural economy of India while doing in his PhD in economics.
‘Marketing Management: A South Asian Perspective’, has been specifically prepared to address the needs of students of the Indian subcontinent. Speaking on the occasion of the book launch, Kotler said, “The American version was quite successful here. The 12th edition is thoroughly Indianised yet global. We have taken adaptations of the American model and applied them to the marketing environment and the socio-economic patterns in India. I’m thrilled to launch this book. My co-authors already want a second edition on the South Asian Perspective.”
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.