Philip Kotler is the undisputed heavyweight champion of marketing. He’s authored or co-authored around 70 books, addressed huge audiences around the world and consulted some of the biggest brands. Three years ago, he was ranked the world’s fourth most influential management guru by the Financial Times; this year, the Wall Street Journal ranked him the sixth best business thinker. Not bad for a man born in 1931 – a child of the Great Depression, now 77 years of age.
The London Business Forum gave him a two-hour slot at Waterloo’s iMax theatre. Even so, his agenda was ambitious. Kotler wanted to tell the story of marketing from its point of formalisation about 80 years ago to the present day. He wanted to discuss how the relationship between companies and their customers has changed. He wanted to survey the latest thinking on branding. And, finally, he wanted to give us his own advice on how to make the new marketing paradigm work in our own organizations.