Birthday, Mr. Marketing!
75, Kellogg scholar Philip Kotler is still making contributions
to the profession he helped develop. Now his legacy is spurring
a philanthropic push to keep the school's Marketing Department
the world's best
may not have invented marketing, but Philip
Kotler has done more than any other person to reinvent
more than a half-century of academic leadership, dozens of
hugely influential books and more than 100 articles, the Kellogg
School marketing expert is internationally preeminent.
honor Kotler's contributions, the school has hosted celebrations
marking his 75th birthday this year. In August, about 150
colleagues gathered for an academic retrospective of his career,
while on Nov. 6, alumni, friends and family shared a dinner
at the James L. Allen Center to highlight the importance of
continuing the Kellogg School's marketing expertise.
decades, Phil Kotler has been a big part of marketing at Kellogg.
Now it's important to extend that legacy by making the case
for why our entire Marketing Department deserves support,"
said Whit Shepard, associate dean and director of development
and alumni relations. "Our professors must continue to
have the resources that enable them to produce groundbreaking
and his wife Nancy have contributed $100,000 toward an initial
goal of $500,000 to support Kellogg marketing scholarship.
The school will allocate these resources to attract top marketing
students. The Marketing
Department is determining how best to leverage the financial
gifts to advance the school's strategic advantage. Under consideration
is a new research center that would bring together marketing
thought leaders by providing an "umbrella" for scholarly
work in the discipline.
scholarship of Phil Kotler, Sid Levy, Lou
Stern and many others provided the basis for building
the Kellogg School's leadership position in marketing thought,"
Tybout, the Harold T. Martin Professor of Marketing. "The
challenge before us is to sustain that position in the face
of our competitors' growing strength. To do so, we must fund
the research of our highly productive young faculty and to
attract more scholars like them. We can meet this challenge,
but we'll need strong support from our alumni and friends."
the celebrations, Kellogg Dean Dipak
C. Jain noted that the economist-turned-marketing-guru
has "added so much glory and recognition to Kellogg"
that, in some ways, he has "become the [school's] brand."
legend keeps producing
decade after many professors would retire, marketing
Kotler continues racking up professional honors — a
clear indication that the talent and passion he
has displayed toward his subject remains undiminished
even as he turned 75 this year.
the legend shows few signs of slowing down.
his recent publications is another text, The
Elusive Fan: Reinventing Sports in a Crowded Marketplace
(McGraw Hill, 2006). Co-authored with Irving Rein
and Ben Shields of Northwestern University, this
title is one of 46 books in Kotler's extensive
bibliography, which by last count also boasts
133 scholarly articles.
is a sampling of other Kotler kudos.
the fourth most-influential business thinker by
Financial Times. Only Peter Drucker, Bill
Gates and Jack Welch appear higher in this ranking.
seminal text Marketing Management was listed
as one of the 50 best business books of all time.
of 11 honorary degrees from universities around
countries established the Philip Kotler Center
for ASEAN Marketing in 2005.
Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai,
India, established the Kotler-Srinavasan Center
for Research in Marketing
will receive the Telecom Italia Prize for Leadership
on Business and Economic Thinking in Venice, Italy,
on Nov. 28.
Kotler has been one figure — admittedly prominent —
among a remarkable team of Kellogg marketing scholars in a
department that repeatedly has been No. 1 in national rankings.
For decades, the school's research-based faculty has delivered
groundbreaking insights that have shaped the discipline. Some
of the earliest marketing scholarship, dating to 1903 and
the publication of Walter Dill Scott's seminal Theory of
Advertising, emerged from Northwestern University. Throughout
the last century, Kellogg professors have been among the field's
most prominent. Today, that legacy continues as Kellogg
boasts experts in key marketing areas.
role in helping elevate the school's profile internationally
is also difficult to overstate. When he speaks in China, India, Russia, Brazil, and other places,
huge crowds of executives attend his seminars.
the son of a merchant in Albany Park on Chicago's Northwest
Side in 1931, the same year the Empire State Building was
completed in the height of the Great Depression, Kotler would
achieve towering regard as a trailblazing thinker who brought
his economic training to bear on marketing, a field that in
the 1950s was still largely descriptive rather than scientific.
he would pen landmark texts such as Marketing Management
(1967) or co-author "Broadening the Concept of Marketing"
(1969, with Sidney J. Levy), Kotler demonstrated an unquenchable
curiosity. "Phil has the unbelievable ability to synthesize
material and an unbelievable appetite to learn about things,"
said Irving Rein, a Northwestern University communication
studies professor and a Kotler co-author.
"It is amazing that such a person, who was born
long ago, knows so much about cutting-edge technology,"
Rein added at the August celebration, where he noted that
Kotler's expertise extends to marketing high-tech products
as well as nonprofit organizations and even nations.
faculty at Kellogg since 1962, Kotler, today the S.C. Johnson
& Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing,
is perhaps best known for bringing academic rigor to marketing
and extending the frameworks for what the discipline could
be. He, along with colleague Sid Levy, introduced the idea
that all organizations market, not simply for-profit businesses.
one of several colleagues who delivered testimonials during
the August celebration, recalled the seminal collaboration. "'Broadening the Concept of Marketing'
created a sensation" when it was published in the Journal
of Marketing in 1969, said Levy. Some considered the article
too radical in its claim that marketing could, and should,
be among the tools leveraged by government organizations,
hospitals and nonprofit groups.
critics were proven wrong.
would go on to develop the "broadening" concept,
said Levy, applying insights that transformed how professionals
in arenas as disparate as the arts, education, healthcare
and public policy formulated strategy and communicated their
messages. In so doing, he influenced a generation of scholars,
inspiring them to "do more exciting, forward-thinking
work," said Alan Andreasen, professor of marketing
at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, and
co-author with Kotler of
"Strategic Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations."
scholar's influence remains "wide-ranging and voluminous"
today, said longtime colleague Louis Stern, the John D. Gray
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Marketing. And, he added,
Kotler shows few signs of slowing down. (In fact, Kotler's
actual birthday was May 27, a date that found him traveling
and lecturing in Prague, necessitating scheduling the August
seems to write a book or article a month," said Stern.
"I get exhausted just being his friend."
Kotler's fame, Stern said that the marketing guru demonstrates
"indiscriminate generosity" to others, sharing insights
— even as Kotler himself continues a lifelong habit
of taking down observations in a notebook, where the musings
develop into ideas for yet another publication.
Kotler, the praise was part of "a wonderful trip down Memory Lane."
was a joy to have my co-authors, former and current colleagues
and my former doctoral students who have become eminent, all
gathered in one location at the same time," said Kotler.
"This will be one of Nancy's and my most treasured memories."
learn how your philanthropy can contribute to Kellogg School
marketing scholarship, contact Derek Truesdale at 847.467.1632