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Ten Deadly Marketing Sins - Signs and Solutions





Book: 'Ten Deadly Marketing Sins - Signs and Solutions'

Author: Philip Kotler

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2004

ISBN: 0-471-65022-6

Leader Values

If you have always suspected that marketing is a very sinful profession, here is undeniable proof. There are traditionally seven deadly sins, but marketing has ten of them! You can almost hear the Marketing Director claiming “Now with 40% more sins”!

Fortunately Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, is here to keep us on the straight and narrow path. Kotler is a widely recognised marketing guru and has written over thirty books. He is known for his ability to present complex subjects in a down-to-earth and approachable manner. Ten Deadly Marketing Sins is no exception. In the narrow compass of just 150 pages, he covers an impressive range of marketing topics.

Kotler starts with the depressing observation that “Marketing is in bad shape”. Most new products fail. In many companies the role of marketing has been reduced to just promotion. Worse still, marketing is expected to become even more challenging in the future. Having caught our attention, Kotler then turns to the ten deadly sins that can reduce the success of marketing. These sins are based on his experience working with consultants and clients. They begin with “Your company is not market focused and customer driven” and work their way through to “Not making maximum use of technology”.

But the problem with sins is that we can always see them more easily in others than in ourselves. After all, who admits that they are not market focused or customer driven? We take these things as being almost given, and fail to notice when we are committing a deadly marketing sin. Kotler helps us to see past this inherent blind spot by holding up a mirror for us to look into – a list of objective signs or symptoms for each of the marketing sins. For example, the signs of having insufficient market focus are poor identification of market segments (Who are you trying to sell to?), insufficient prioritization of segments (Have you measured the attractiveness of each segment and reallocated resources to the more profitable ones?), and having no market segment managers (Have you appointed clear leaders to manage the more important segments?).

 If the signs feel uncomfortably familiar, you are probably looking at one of your company’s sins. Of course, knowing your marketing sins is a big step forward – but fixing them is an even bigger challenge. That’s where Kotler’s ability to come up with simple and convincing solutions is invaluable. In Ten Deadly Marketing Sins he gives clear recommendations on how to overcome each of the sins. And by dealing effectively with the sins, you can turn them into the Ten Commandments for achieving marketing productivity and profitability. Polish up your halo!

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