Reconceptualizing marketing: An interview with Philip Kotler

Philip Kotler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Philip Kotler is a name synonymous with the development of marketing as an academic discipline and operational practice over the last three decades. He has published not only the classical texts on the subject, like Marketing Management, but in recent times has added radical new interpretations, like social marketing. In this interview in London with EMJ's editor, Paul Stonham, he recounts some of the major new concepts he has introduced to make the subject a more comprehensive and powerful business tool, reviews the current state of marketing, sometimes said to be in a 'mid-life crisis', and makes some hard forecasts about the subject and the direction in which its practitioners are going. Kotler makes the point that 'marketing' has at least four meanings. It is important to be clear. Kotler himself has broadened marketing thinking considerably to include non-profit organizations, by searching for the fundamental concept underlying the subject. He goes on to explain some of his new ideas, societal marketing, demarketing, and megamarketing, as steps in this direction of reconceptualizing marketing. The future for marketing is exciting and full of potential change. It must certainly involve market-oriented strategic planning, specifically STP: 'segmentation, targeting and positioning'. Subsegmentation is another firm trend. Future marketing will be assisted by greater scientific analysis like geodemographics. Kotler sees marketing's so-called 'mid-life crisis' as a strength not a weakness - since it is involving a re-examination of our ideas. He considers the corporate organizational aspects of revitalizing marketing, as well as the rapid growth of megaretailers and its associated tidal wave of private brands. Other trends to watch are an emphasis on value marketing and the growth of third-world middle-class markets. Such changes to marketing and the market place have educational implications for new generations of business school students and Philip Kotler spells out four major lessons to be learned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management

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