06 Aug 2021 17:18 IST

‘Brands should care more about their belief system’

Dr Philip Kotler shared actionable marketing insights for the post-Covid world with MICA students.

Dr Philip Kotler, ‘The Father of Modern Marketing,’ shared marketing mantras for the post-pandemic world with students of MICA Ahmedabad. Addressing over 500 participants virtually, Dr Kotler talked about the companies responsibilities in modern times and the role of marketing in business and society. The interactive session was a precursor to ‘MICANVAS,’ MICA's annual marketing festival.

Confluence of marketing and technology

Emphasising human-to-human marketing as the new marketing orientation, he said, “Mapping the journey of consumer, touchpoint marketing, and persona marketing will reveal deeper insights into your consumer. Apart from these, influencer marketing, omni-channel marketing, lean marketing, content marketing, and social cause marketing will make the major features of the new marketing.” MarkTech, a combination of marketing automation, 5D printing, artificial intelligence, voice and facial recognition, and augmented and virtual reality, is the future of marketing, he said. To deal with modern-day challenges, he said, companies will have to define their purpose.


Dr Philip Kotler during his live session at MICA




“Climate change is a matter of concern. However, it is time to think about traditional marketing vs sustainable marketing. Companies need to stop creating false needs. Instead, they need to recognise the need that consumers want — a better balance of work and play — and hence shopping and consumption might play a small role in their lives.” He termed pandemic, climate change, wealth gap, technological changes, and polarisation as the five forces that will impact the economy.

Future of marketing

Dissecting the characteristics of businesses and consumers in the post-Covid world, he said, “More companies will be vulnerable to disruptions. They will collect detailed consumer data to apply machine learning to produce actionable marketing insights. Brand building will no longer depend on traditional marketing; instead it will blend traditional and digital marketing. Companies will take on brand activism and public stands. Sales growth will increasingly depend on smart targeted online and social media marketing.”

Delving more on consumer characteristics, he said, “Consumers will collect much more information including scandals and ratings before buying. They will pay more attention to health and safety concerns. They will use more ad-blockers and will not answer unsolicited phone calls. They would want to consume less and live more simply.”

Brands and social causes

Towards the end of the session, Dr Kotler answered some of the questions asked by the students of MICA. For example, a student asked, “Audiences are increasingly polarised, forcing brands to rebrand themselves overnight. In such a scenario, how do they calculate the risk of losing customers? Dr Kotler responded, “If the brand is not saying what people are thinking about, it sends a clear message. Brands should care more about what their belief system is rather than what is right and profitable.”

Another student sought his advice for new age agencies trying hard to get their work highlighted in a world with too much clutter. Dr Kotler's suggestion included developing an understanding of deeper desires than superficial desires and fresh thinking. At the end of the session, MICA President and Director Dr Shailendra Raj Mehta thanked Dr Kotler for his invaluable wisdom. Prof Mehta also showcased a photograph of a rosewood tree sapling planted in the MICA campus in Dr Kotler's name and gifted him a custom artwork, made in copper, with Mahatma Gandhiji’s signature in ten different languages.