You are previewing BSS FAQs On Marketing.
O'Reilly logo
BSS FAQs On Marketing

Book Description

FAQs on Marketing distills the essence of Philip Kotler's decades of experience into an eminently readable question-and-answer format. The author draws on the thousands of questions he has been asked over the years, such as:

  • What are the biggest challenges marketers face today?

  • What skills do marketing managers need to be successful?

  • What metrics can companies use to judge marketing performance?

  • How are globalization and new technology affecting the role of marketing?

  • What will the marketing department of the future look like?

This landmark bestseller takes the reader inside the mind of a marketing genius. The penetrating insights and practical-minded guidance that it provides will be valued by marketing professionals, academics and general readers alike.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Preface
  6. Part 1 Markets and Marketing
    1. Definition
      1. What is marketing?
      2. In your opinion, what are the main concepts used in marketing?
      3. How would you summarize the key processes involved in marketing and their importance?
      4. Many companies see marketing as mainly a department, but you’ve described it as a total company philosophy and practice. How is that?
      5. Doesn’t marketing have to be adapted to each country and region? Are there any fixed principles?
      6. What are some of the chief misconceptions about effective marketing that are still operating in today’s companies? Who isn’t “getting it?”
      7. When did marketing first appear?
      8. Is marketing more an art or a craft?
      9. Is marketing an applied science?
      10. When did marketing start to include concepts from psychology, sociology, and anthropology, as well as from economics?
      11. The use of the term marketing is now expanding beyond the area of ordinary goods and services. Is this good?
      12. Is it possible that the products available today meet all or almost all of our needs and that the problem facing marketing today is that there are few remaining needs to be met?
      13. Why is marketing the best way to satisfy individual needs?
      14. Is marketing the same in the consumer goods, services, and businessto-business areas?
      15. What is the mission of marketing?
      16. You say that marketing must play the lead role in shaping business strategy. Do you think that business executives are fully aware of the role that marketing can play in helping the company succeed?
      17. You have said that if the people in a company’s marketing department can’t propose any new opportunities, they should be fired. But are there many good opportunities still left?
      18. What significant business opportunities do you identify in the evolving economy?
      19. What is the difference between marketing and merchandising?
      20. What are the most logical telltale signs that you need to do something about your marketing—aside from declining sales?
      21. How about this: Where does the CEO or business owner who really isn’t that savvy about marketing begin—aside from reading your books?
      22. How has marketing changed since its beginnings?
      23. Do marketing theory and practice change very much?
      24. If you were forming a business and building a sales and marketing infrastructure, and had your pick between a great salesman or a great marketing man, but you could afford only one, which would you pick? Why?
      25. What is the worst type of marketing?
      26. Is there anything particularly encouraging in marketing today that makes you personally feel optimistic about its future?
      27. In your definition of “demarketing,” you suggest that marketing can be used to dissuade people from using certain products and services. Doesn’t that annul the marketing concept, which is “to meet customers’ needs?”
      28. What are some major characteristics of recent U.S. marketing?
      29. What have you been emphasizing in your speeches about the nature of marketing?
      30. How is the role of marketing changing today in the light of globalization and new technology?
      31. What are some basic things that nearly all businesses engage in that you consider marketing but that many businesspeople may not realize are marketing?
      32. Do you think that knowing at least some marketing concepts is essential for everybody nowadays?
      33. Do you think that marketing should be taught in high schools? Why?
      34. Regis McKenna wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review with the title “Marketing Is Everything.” Do you agree?
      35. What is holistic marketing? How does it differ from traditional marketing? Could you briefly explain how holistic marketing can enable companies to design winning market offerings?
    2. Customer Power and Satisfaction
      1. Power has shifted from the suppliers to the customers. Why?
      2. Companies say that “the customer is number one.” Isn’t this a good sign that companies are becoming market-oriented?
      3. What are reverse marketing, reverse pricing, reverse advertising, reverse distribution, and reverse design?
      4. I’m not sure what a “prosumer” is. Can you elaborate?
      5. What do you think are the most important factors in creating customer satisfaction these days?
    3. Trends in Marketing
      1. Which megatrends do we have to consider for the future?
      2. In your books, you have pointed out that globalization, hyper-competition, and the Internet are reshaping markets and businesses. What effect are these dynamics having on marketing?
      3. What are the main new trends in marketing?
      4. How will organizations be affected by the substantial increase in the velocity of change?
      5. What are the major changes within the field of marketing since the famous 4Ps?
    4. New Ideas in Marketing
      1. What are the newest skills needed in marketing?
      2. What is experiential marketing?
      3. What will be the impact of real-time information on the practice of marketing?
      4. Is the trend toward customized products and services still going strong?
      5. What are metamarkets? How can companies capitalize on the emergence of metamarkets?
    5. Major Challenges
      1. What are the most significant challenges marketers face today?
      2. You say that the main economic problem plaguing companies is industry overcapacity. What are the main causes of this problem? How can companies cope with it?
      3. What is the difference between a competitive market and a hypercompetitive market?
      4. You write that the customer has become the hunter. What impact does that have on marketing strategies?
      5. How can a company survive in an environment where the markets are changing faster than the marketing?
    6. Deficiencies of Marketing
      1. To what extent are marketers themselves responsible for their own marginalization?
      2. What are the major impediments to effective marketing?
      3. Can you identify any overall approaches to marketing or business that commonly create a business environment in which the “Ten Deadly Sins of Marketing” are likely to occur?
      4. What are your major disappointments about the state of marketing?
    7. Criticisms of Marketing
      1. Do you think that marketing needs to reinvent itself in the face of antiglobalization protests?
      2. Does marketing only meet needs, or does it create needs?
      3. Are customers becoming more cynical about business and marketing?
      4. Some people say that marketing techniques create false images about products and companies. How would you answer that?
    8. Skills
      1. What understandings do marketing managers need in order to be successful?
      2. In general, is marketing well taught? Do you think that managers put into practice the marketing techniques they learn in business schools? How much of being a successful marketer is about having the right instincts?
    9. Careers
      1. What compelling reasons can you give to encourage students to study marketing?
      2. What kinds of people go into marketing?
      3. Could you give a recipe for success for a young professional in marketing?
      4. How many people in the U.S. are employed as marketers?
      5. In some large companies, the turnover rate among marketing directors is extraordinarily high—some jobs change every eighteen months. Why the high turnover rate?
      6. Should a large corporation make sure that at least one marketer sits on its board? Marketers surely have a voice within each product division, but should they have a voice on the corporate board?
      7. What makes a successful brand manager?
      8. Should marketers have more financial training?
      9. Is it true that some people are naturally better at marketing than others?
      10. What career advice would you offer tomorrow’s managers?
  7. Part 2. Marketing Strategy
    1. It is increasingly hard to find and keep a competitive advantage, given the rapid copying of products, the radical shortening of product life cycles, the increased information available to customers, and customers’ growing defenses against commercial messages. Can companies still achieve competitive advantages?
    2. What marketing strategies work best in today’s marketplace?
    3. What are the major strategies available to market leaders?
    4. What are the major strategies available to challenger firms?
    5. How can a company determine whether to compete by cultivating operational excellence, product leadership, or customer intimacy, the three disciplines mentioned by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema in The Discipline of Market Leaders?
    6. In business, are there any permanent winners? How long does it take for a marketing strategy to get outdated?
    7. Do logistics play an important role in competitive strategy?
    8. The trend in many markets is for convergence between traditionally separate worlds. Consider banking and insurance. The apparently huge profits available from life insurance investments led banks to acquire insurance companies. But it has proved very difficult to realize the convergence potential. Why?
    9. Supermarkets have toyed with venturing into banking services. Does this make sense?
    10. Segmentation
      1. What is happening to mass marketing? Does it still work? Is it dead or dying?
      2. What is the best way to segment a market?
      3. How can a company proceed to find niches in the market?
      4. How is the Internet used for reaching market segments?
    11. Targeting
      1. Should a company spend more time attracting new customers or retaining old ones?
      2. How much “narrowcasting” do you advocate?
      3. Should a company keep pursuing worthwhile prospects until it succeeds, or should it establish a cutoff point?
      4. Is it better to target easy-to-sell-to prospects who don’t spend much or hard-to-sell-to prospects who, if attracted, will spend a great deal?
    12. Positioning
      1. Some people believe that positioning is the key step in marketing. Do you agree?
      2. What is your opinion about big company mergers? Al Ries writes about losing focus, and suggests that companies selling different kinds of products shouldn’t merge. What’s your opinion on this?
    13. Differentiation
      1. What are the key ways today in which a company can gain a marketing edge?
      2. What should be the strategy for a company in a commodity line of business?
      3. Can a commodity such as electricity be differentiated? What segments and niches are there in the energy market?
    14. Innovation
      1. What is the role of innovation in marketing?
      2. Why is innovation important?
      3. Yet innovation calls for creativity, which is sorely lacking. What can marketers do to address the lack of creativity?
      4. Which innovations do you consider to be landmarks in the history of marketing?
      5. How can we push innovation?
      6. Are there any general rules allowing us to minimize the risk that a new product will not be accepted by the market?
      7. What do you think is a better marketing investment for a company, innovation or improvement?
  8. Part 3. Marketing Tools (the 4Ps)
    1. Who came up with the famous 4Ps?
    2. Are the 4Ps still a useful framework for marketing decision making?
    3. Can you please say something regarding “the need for a new marketing mix”?
    4. What new tools are available to marketers?
    5. Who will benefit most from the use of the Internet? Businesses or customers?
    6. What do you think about the future of marketing models?
    7. Product
      1. Brands and Branding
      2. What are the reasons for the branding hype during the last decade?
      3. Do you think that honing a strong brand image is enough to sell a product?
      4. What kind of brands do you expect to be the successful brands of tomorrow?
      5. What do you mean by “moving from brands to brand asset management”? Why is this important?
      6. How do you build a brand?
      7. Do you think that global brands can be developed by companies in smaller countries?
      8. How can a local brand become a global brand?
      9. Do you think that global companies that localize their offerings and communications do better than those that standardize their offerings and communications?
      10. Many local company brands have been acquired by multinationals. Is this the best way to enter a foreign market?
      11. Should a multinational that uses several brand names for the same product in different countries fold these local names into one standard name?
      12. A brand’s reputation is difficult to obtain and easy to lose. How does a brand keep its leadership?
      13. Do you think private brands are a growing threat to national and global brands? What can national brands do about this?
      14. If you could market any brand that has existed during your lifetime, what would it be?
      15. What makes a great brand?
      16. What should you never do with a brand?
      17. Many brands are trying to find their place in customers’ hearts. What kinds of brands will succeed?
      18. Do you agree that the Internet is likely to weaken branded goods because people will be purchasing on price alone?
      19. Will the Internet help companies deepen their brand image?
    8. Service
      1. So much has been written about service as a key differentiator, but in many places it seems to get worse. Why?
      2. In markets today there are very few pure products, and everything is a combination of product and services. What is the role of the service component?
      3. Are the Internet and e-commerce going to reduce the need for personal service?
    9. Price
      1. What price premium can a superior brand charge?
      2. What is the impact of the Internet on pricing?
      3. It is said that consumers are becoming very price-sensitive, and therefore marketers can do little but lower the price. Do you agree?
      4. What can manufacturers do when they face lower-price competitors?
      5. Do you have any thoughts for the marketer who is trying to devise a strategy to compete with low-cost Chinese companies?
      6. How prevalent are price wars?
      7. In many countries, sales are won by offering bribes. How should a marketer think and act in regard to corruption?
    10. Place (Distribution)
      1. Do companies do a sufficient job of thinking through distribution?
      2. What should be done with a manufacturer who doesn’t understand and accommodate to satisfy the trade?
      3. How many channels of distribution should a company use?
      4. How can a company sell to some customers directly without losing the support of the middleman channel?
      5. One of the main concerns for companies selling through traditional channels is the competition coming from purely online marketers. What should traditional marketers do?
    11. Promotion
      1. TV advertising seems to be losing its effectiveness. What are alternative ways to get attention?
      2. What is the main communication challenge?
      3. There is a great deal of hype about integrated marketing communications. What is the status of this subject today?
      4. Do you see companies as setting their communication budgets optimally?
    12. Advertising
      1. Companies continue to spend more money on TV advertising, even as the number of channels proliferate and more channel switching takes place. Aren’t companies being slow to realize TV advertising effectiveness has fallen?
      2. What should advertising agencies do in response to the declining effectiveness of mass advertising?
      3. What is advertising’s main limitation?
      4. Will the Internet become an effective advertising medium?
      5. How can companies effectively reach mass audiences?
    13. Public Relations
      1. Some media analysts call for more spending on public relations. Do you agree?
    14. Sales Promotion
      1. My company used to spend about 70 percent of our promotion dollars on advertising and 30 percent on sales promotion. Now we are spending 70 percent on sales promotion. Are we spending too much on sales promotion?
      2. How should the sales promotion budget be divided between trade and consumer promotion?
      3. What is the best way to improve the use of sales promotion?
    15. Sales Management and Selling
      1. What is the relationship between the marketing department and the sales force?
      2. Should salespeople receive some training in marketing?
      3. What is the best system for compensating the sales force?
      4. The best salespeople far outperform the average salespeople in a sales force. How much more should they be paid?
      5. What is the future of salespeople in business-to-business marketing?
    16. Sponsorships
      1. Do you think companies should divert some money from advertising to sponsorship?
    17. Buzz Marketing
      1. What’s your opinion of so-called buzz marketing?
    18. Media
      1. How has new media changed consumer behavior?
      2. Which media will be the winners in the coming ten years?
  9. Part 4. Marketing Planning
    1. Should marketing plans use the same format? What should that format be?
    2. How can you assess whether a marketing plan is a good one?
    3. What is the difference between a business plan and a marketing plan?
    4. Some people say that a marketing plan is obsolete as soon as it is finished, because conditions are always changing.
    5. Marketing Research
      1. Do you believe that all marketing decisions require market research?
      2. Do other company managers respect market research?
      3. What tools—quantitative or qualitative—will contribute more tomarket success?
      4. How dependable are focus groups as a way of testing consumers’ ideas concerning a new product?
      5. What do you think about the effectiveness of online surveys and market research?
  10. Part 5. Marketing Organization
    1. What role should the marketing department play in a company?
    2. How can companies become more customer-centric?
    3. What happens to the marketing department when everyone in the company becomes customer-focused?
    4. Do you believe that the best way to organize companies is by functions?
    5. Name a weakness of marketing departments that irritates you.
    6. What are the challenges facing the chief marketing officer in a company?
    7. How have marketing departments become 1P marketers (promotion primarily)? Why has this happened?
    8. What additional skills will be needed in marketing departments to be effective?
    9. Does marketing alone set the business strategy?
    10. Does the CEO have any role to play in marketing?
    11. Is the work of a marketing department to be increasingly outsourced?
    12. What should be the relationship between marketing and finance?
    13. What is the employee’s role in carrying out the company’s marketing strategy and goals?
    14. How can a company motivate its employees to go the extra few yards for the customer?
  11. Part 6. Marketing Control
    1. While overall productivity is on the rise, marketing productivity has been on the decline. What’s gone wrong? Can marketing ROI be measured?
    2. What tools can marketers use to show the impact of their marketing programs on the bottom line?
    3. What metrics can companies use to judge marketing performance?
    4. Do companies pay enough attention to measuring customer satisfaction?
  12. Part 7. Marketing Areas of Application
    1. Consumer Packaged Goods
      1. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies still rely heavily on TV advertising and sales promotion. Does this make sense?
    2. Retail Marketing
      1. How can major manufacturers handle the growing power of megaretailers to set terms and conditions for carrying their products?
      2. Will online marketing make some retail stores superfluous?
      3. What strategies can small retailers use to compete with large organizations like Wal-Mart?
    3. Small-Business Marketing
      1. What can small businesses do to improve their marketing effectiveness?
    4. Direct Marketing
      1. What can be done to improve response rates in direct marketing?
      2. Do you think direct marketing can be overdone, taking the form of a lot of “junk” mail?
      3. With the advent of the Internet, are physical mailings likely to continue?
      4. Do you favor collecting information about individual customers?
    5. Loyalty Marketing
      1. How can companies build more customer loyalty?
      2. What makes an effective frequency program for building loyalty?
      3. Companies try to create loyal customers. But often they give a larger reward to new customers than to loyal customers. Is this right?
      4. Will loyalty lessen as a result of the Internet making competitors’ offers and prices more visible?
      5. What is the core idea of stakeholder marketing?
      6. Hasn’t customer relationship marketing always been practiced?
    6. CRM and Database Marketing
      1. What do sales and marketing professionals need to be aware of when considering making a major CRM investment?
      2. What kinds of companies will benefit most from using CRM?
      3. What is the right balance between working on customer acquisition versus customer retention?
      4. What is multilevel marketing?
    7. Internet Marketing
      1. What kind of impact is the Internet having on marketing?
      2. What are the characteristics of a good web site for a company?
      3. What are the limitations of buying goods via the Internet?
      4. Many online companies went bust. Why?
      5. How has the Internet affected the relative importance of each of the 4Ps?
    8. Professional Service Marketing
      1. What can a professional service firm (PSF) do to better market itself?
      2. What are the biggest challenges facing professional service firms?
      3. What are your views on the need for professional service firms to hire sales personnel to get engagements?
    9. Personal Marketing
      1. Do you think that in social relationships (like friendship and marriage), “personal marketing” is an effective tool to use?
      2. Can marketing be used to market people better?
    10. International Marketing
      1. According to marketing theory, a company should adapt its offering to the host country. But others argue that a company should standardize its offering. What is your opinion on the matter?
      2. How can a local company compete with global companies?
      3. The hope for many developing companies is said to be export promotion. But how can a country figure out what its best exportable products are?
      4. How should companies organize themselves for global marketing? Should they be highly centralized or decentralized?
      5. What role is played by a country’s image in helping or hurting the sales of its products?
      6. Are the best marketing companies found only in the West?
      7. Isn’t going abroad risky for a company?
      8. How have American companies handled their international operations?
      9. Modern marketing has, by and large, been shaped by American marketing theory and practice. But aren’t there different views of marketing in different countries?
      10. Developing nations have attracted many multinationals to their shores. The multinationals can hurt many local businesses. Are they a blessing or a curse? How can local companies respond?
      11. What marketing approaches do multinational companies adopt when entering and selling in developing countries?
      12. International trade is changing. Firms are becoming involved in global chains of production. What are the impacts of this business integration on marketing?
      13. In the new business landscape, China poses a strong economic challenge to other countries. From a marketing perspective, how should countries respond to such a seemingly unbeatable challenge?
    11. Place Marketing
      1. Can the United States be marketed? If so, how?
      2. How difficult is it for a nation to alter its image?
      3. Who is really in the business of nation branding: governments, business leaders, or both?
      4. What are the biggest marketing obstacles facing post-communist countries?
    12. Recession Marketing
      1. What policies and strategies make sense for companies during an economic recession?
    13. Political Marketing
      1. Do you think that marketing professionals can help politicians win elections?
      2. Do marketers feel any ethical conflict in “selling” the image of political candidates?
    14. Social Responsibility Marketing
      1. The economist Milton Friedman famously said: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.” What are your thoughts on the social responsibility of marketing?
      2. What is the case for morality in marketing?
      3. Do you believe that consumers need government protection?
      4. Company decisions have an impact on society as well as on individuals. Can you distinguish between the types of impact?
      5. What are a company’s social responsibilities? Does greater social responsibility lead to greater profits?
      6. How can managers in newly industrializing countries learn about ethics and social responsibility?
      7. What is social marketing?
      8. What gave you the initial impetus to develop social marketing? And how has the field developed?
      9. What needs to be done to recruit more marketing students and marketing professionals into the field of social marketing?
      10. Many health professionals have embraced social marketing, but far too many still equate social marketing with the use of media campaigns and fancy messages to persuade consumers to change their behavior. How can we do a better job of distinguishing between health communication and social marketing?
      11. Is Green Marketing an important part of marketing?
  13. Part 8. Marketing Excellence
    1. What companies best exemplify excellent marketing?
    2. What about examples of what not to do?
    3. When you go to the doctor for a checkup, he performs a routine to make sure you’re OK. What basic marketing checkup steps would you perform on a company to get a sense of its marketing health?
    4. Can any company dominate a market for very long?
    5. Most companies don’t last very long. A few do. What are the secrets?
    6. Can you describe a few innovative companies in more detail?
    7. Can you give an example of companies that interact well with their customers?
    8. Can you name a company in an emerging country that has shown exceptional sophistication?
    9. Can you name some European companies and researchers that have been innovative?
    10. What is the biggest marketing strength of American companies? What is their biggest weakness?
    11. What books would you recommend for a marketing manager (chief marketing officer of a medium or large company) who is trying to make his company more competitive?
    12. Do business books have an influence on how business is conducted?
    13. What is the most important idea or person that has influenced your thinking on business?
  14. About the author