Philip Kotler, the wonder of emotional marketing

Pioneering, rational, methodical. Philip Kotler was the luminary of new marketing strategies.

Words by Miriam | Styling by Beatrice

23 July 2020 

Philip Kotler is considered the father of modern marketing, such a relevant figure that the Financial Times called him one of the four most influential management gurus of all time, along with Jack Welch, Bill Gates, and Peter Drucker. Many consider him to have founded the entire concept of ‘marketing’, laying down precise rules for engaging customers in a totally new way, based on emotion and wonder.

The young Philip, born in 1931 in Chicago to Ukrainian emigrants, studied at a private Catholic university for a couple of years. He was then accepted, without a degree, into a Masters program and attended a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. More than his studies, what shaped his education were the influences of three Nobel Prize winners – Milton Friedman, Paul Samuelson, and Robert Solow – who led him to firmly believe that marketing was an essential part of economics.

From the moment he began teaching at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, at Northwestern University, Illinois, Philip became virtually unstoppable, putting together studies and theories that drove the modern marketing revolution, which encompasses all those actions, mechanisms and ideas that are useful for making products or offering services that best meet consumer demands. The secret lies in adaptation. He was the creator of the famous 4Cs – Customer Value, Change, Convenience, Communication – in relation to the customer and their needs. Everything revolves around it, which is why Kotler is considered the inventor of what we now call emotional marketing – or marketing 3.0, as he called it – which consists of creating a stable and lasting relationship with the customer, expanding the exchange of communication and easy accessibility to customer care. All pillars that today’s brands follow to the letter in order to become more and more forward-looking companies, flexible to change and stable in their success.

Kotler was the author of many books and more than a hundred articles published in prestigious trade journals. His texts have shaped and guided the training of thousands of students and managers. Today, at the age of ninety, he continues to influence young entrepreneurs in terms of the need for an emotional approach to customers, to sell services that – as he once said – satisfy them but, above all, make them smile.