Philip Kotler gives the lowdown on Marketing, via the YouTube channel. Simply unmissable for anyone interested in business. Kotler’s book, Marketing Management, is the world’s most widely used graduate level textbook in marketing. The sixteenth edition of Phlip Kotler and Gary Armstrong’s extraordinarily popular Principle of Marketing is held at the University Library, like so many libraries all over world. In this lecture the man himself effortlessly talks about marketing at the Chicago Humanities Festival in 2012, a prestigious gathering which attracts today’s brilliant minds. The word ‘marketing’ was not even invented in the year 1900. The first department store was opened in Japan. The first newspaper ad appeared during the English interregnum period in 1652 advertising coffee, and the first ad agency NW Ayres appeared advertising Pears Soap in the Victorian era. The ancient Greeks had markets. The first marketing books appeared as economist books, but were written by ‘disillusioned economists’, so marketing is a branch of economics by association.  Kotler’s famous mantra is place, price and promotion, potential, but what is marketing? ‘Marketing is everything’ and starts with the customer. Without the customer there is no business.  Marketers rarely talk about ‘sane marketing’ like a brewery advising about not drinking too much, or the ethical use of pesticides. The public doesn’t tend to buy something that is a new idea. Even activist Noami Klein’s seminal No Logo is considered a marketing book even though it attacks brand consumption, because she informs the public that they are ‘paying too much’ for a product because of its received brand kudos.  Kotler lists the best marketers like Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, who wanted to reduce the price of furniture.  The late Anita Roddick of Body Shop said, somewhat elliptically, ‘not selling hope – I’m selling motion’. Richard Branson’s a great self-publicist using stunts to promote a new product. Kotler discusses the products of aspiration, selling compassion, improving the lives of people.  He asks the audience if there is a company they like, and Apple is unsurprisingly the favourite, like so many of our students choosing to write marketing assignments on product placement of the Apple i-phone in an emerging economy .  It emerges that the customer is the bona fide marketer of Coca-Cola, because the company created a love-affair with the consumer so it pays relatively little for marketing.  It’s all about exposure, particularly around social media, but the firm needs to know its audience otherwise investment is a waste of money. But has the U.S. reached saturation point? Growth is the issue. Growth means jobs. Kotler discusses the death of demand, how does a firm grow and defend that business and hold onto their customers? His advice is astonishing: ignore the books!  Go against the grain to succeed. I would recommend this video for anyone wishing to learn more about marketing from a certified expert.

YouTube, as you know as you’re reading this blog entry, is a treasure trove of lectures by notable figures from business schools across the globe. It is worth exploring and finding out about your subject in an age of democratising information.