Kotler's classic marketing text celebrates 40 years
13th edition due in 2008; seminal book continues to shape
an entire discipline
Kotler didn't set out to write the Harry Potter of business
school textbooks, but 40 years after its publication Marketing
Management is still flying off the shelves. A certified
classic, the book has ranked among the top 200 titles on Amazon.com
and been named among the 50 best business books of all time
by Financial Times.
in its 12th edition, Marketing Management is the most
widely used text in graduate business schools, having been
translated into more than 25 languages. Kotler has produced
dozens of other books, adapting and developing his core concepts
into additional bestsellers. With three million books in print,
Kotler is the most prolific author in the marketing textbook
network of knowledge and influence his textbooks have generated
is unparalleled," writes Peggy Cunningham, a Queen's
University marketing professor who has analyzed the impact
of Kotler's work and is co-author for a Canadian edition of
Marketing Management. "Millions of MBA and undergraduate
students have been educated using his materials."
why did Marketing Management make such a splash?
big idea in 1967 was that companies ought to be driven by
customers and markets, rather than by the intuition of marketing
executives. He went on to bring analytical thinking into the
marketing field to add to the rich description of markets
that already existed in the marketing literature.
seemed to me that marketing needed more logical processes
for making decisions," recalls Kotler, who joined the
Kellogg School faculty in 1962 and is now the S.C. Johnson
& Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing.
He based his textbook on ideas synthesized from economics,
behavioral science, organizational science and mathematics.
had been trained as an economist at the University of Chicago
and MIT. As a result, he introduced mathematical models to
help companies allocate marketing resources, including setting
the size and goals of the sales force.
said, 'These are big decisions that companies face,'"
Kotler recalls. "They don't get much help from standard
economic theory. These companies need a process for making
decisions about how many salespeople to hire, how much to
spend on advertising, how much to spend on sale promotion."
took off immediately. Kotler, whose original goal was to write
a textbook to use in his own classes, says he was "delighted
Kotler notes in the preface to his latest edition, marketing
has changed dramatically in the last 40 years. Basic concepts
such as segmentation, targeting and positioning were barely
discussed back then. Brand equity, hybrid channels, database
marketing and e-commerce might as well have been terms from
each edition, Kotler has developed these and other concepts,
including relationship marketing and social, place and person
marketing. The austere black-and-white text of 1967 has evolved
into a vibrant volume that reflects today's best marketing
has added a co-author (Tuck Professor Kevin Lane Keller) and
the two plan to publish the book's 13th edition in early 2008.
As usual, at least 20 to 30 percent of the text will be new.
76, Kotler still teaches, consults for corporations and speaks
to crowds around the world. He credits this continuous feedback
with enabling him to stay ahead of the curve on marketing
trends. Never complacent, Kotler views his work as ruthlessly
as any would-be competitor.
best line of attack is to attack yourself first," Kotler
says of revising his classic work. "Be aware of the new
ideas, trends and stories and make them prominent in the next