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11 powerful marketing quotes from Philip Kotler

Here are 11 nuggets of wisdom from Prof Philip Kotler. These essential marketing quotes will help marketers of all abilities to have a clearer purpose in their work.

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Image: Philip Kotler.It is with good reason that Philip Kotler is known as the “Father of Marketing”. Few would disagree that Kotler’s Marketing Management is the single most important marketing textbook that has ever been written, selling over 3 million copies in 20 languages.

A landmark textbook is not all he’s written, either. Kotler is author and co-author of some 60 books and 150 articles on business and marketing. And this is in addition to his extensive lecturing and consulting work. You can read about his life’s work, and his future ambitions in his latest piece.

Luckily for us, Kotler also has the useful ability to say a lot in just a few words, making him eminently quotable.

Marketers of the world – if you want to up your marketing game then read these quotes, memorise them, and let the wisdom of the Messiah of Marketing seep deep into the recesses of your brain.

1. Authentic marketing

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"Authentic marketing is not the art of selling what you make but knowing what to make"

Authentic marketing is about understanding what people want. For Kotler, the work of marketing begins before you have a product.

2. Reducing the need for selling

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"The aim of marketing is to reduce the need for selling"

Effective marketers understand and communicate how a product or service will meet the needs of a customer. Do this well, then customers won’t need to be persuaded, and selling becomes easy.

3. The creative use of truth

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"Marketing is the creative use of truth"

Great marketing doesn’t just describe products and services – with subtlety and clarity it creatively speaks to subconscious human needs.

4. The aim of marketing

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"The aim of selling is to satisfy a customer need; the aim of marketing is to figure out his need"

Kotler reminds us that, unlike selling, marketing is fundamentally about understanding customers in order to develop products and services that meet needs.

5. Delighting customers

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"It is no longer enough to satisfy your customers. You must delight them"

In an increasingly crowded marketplace, customers have come to expect more – they want their expectations to be not just met, but exceeded.

6. Product development

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"Marketing is the homework that we do before we have a product"

For Kotler, marketing is not something that happens after a product already exists – it is inherently linked to product development.

7. The customer as product designer

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"Who should ultimately design the product? The customer, of course"

A product that doesn’t meet customer needs is useless. Kotler reminds us that product design must begin and end with the customer.

8. The pace of market change

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"Markets always change faster than marketing"

Today, more than ever, markets change and develop rapidly. Kotler reminds us that marketers strive to keep up with the pace, as dictated by the markets.

9. The art of brand building

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"The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low-cost producer is the only winner"

A brand is not a commodity, but a whole package of meanings. The brands who successfully manage and communicate these meanings create value for consumers, and find a distinct marketplace advantage.

10. Hitting the mark

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"Marketing is the ability to hit the mark"

In Kotler’s famously broad conception of it, marketing is nothing less than understanding both business and social needs profoundly, in order to deliver exactly the right solution.

11. Have a higher mission

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"Be a cause, not just a business. Have a higher mission"

Kotler reminds us that brands must be more than merely businesses. They must represent something that inspires us, by tapping into dreams, ambitions, and values.

Read more!

Find out about Kotler’s work in “Philip Kotler: some of my adventures in marketing” in the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing.

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