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When posed the question of who is the Father of Digital Marketing, the first name that comes to mind after hearing these words is maybe that of Guglielmo Marconi, the celebrated inventor of the radio. He invented the radio back in 1896 and was the first digital marketer in the world. But, if we talk about luminaries of the digital marketing world, and the extent of their contributions to the world of digital marketing, very few of them have made the kind of lasting influence on the digital marketing world like Philip Kotler, who’s known as the modern-day father of digital marketing.
Before we know more about him, let’s look into what digital marketing is. If you Google it up or anything, you’ll get a definition like “it is the part of marketing that uses the Internet and online-based digital techs such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other digital platforms to endorse products and services.” A bit fancy for a simple definition right?
So, to put it in simple words, or to use an example, digital marketing at its simplest is those ads on social media that you see all the time regarding certain products or e-commerce websites. It mainly involves the usage of digital components/internet for the promotion of business and marketing.
Getting back Philip Kotler, was born on May 27, 1931. He studied at DePaul University for a couple of years and was accepted without a bachelor’s degree into the Master’s program at the University of Chicago (1953), which was, then and even now, a very big deal. He did his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, prestigiously known as MIT(1956)obtaining both degrees in the subject of economics. During his studies, he had the good fortune to learn under three Nobel Laureates in Economic Science: Milton Friedman, Paul Samuelson, and Robert Solow. After doing a year of postdoctoral work in mathematics at Harvard University (1960), he also pursued behavioral science at the University of Chicago (1961).
This quite well-known American professor, who started teaching marketing in 1962 at the Kellogg School of Management(Northwestern University), has written more than sixty books on marketing. He is also appreciated globally for his efforts in establishing marketing as a field of academics.
He also argued regarding the fact that marketing is an integral part of economics and made a proposal that demand for goods and services was not only affected by the price of the goods, but also by advertising and promotions of the commodities, direct mail regarding sales, retailers and good relations with them, and smooth distribution channels.
Kotler’s principles were mostly about analyzing behavioral aspects of consumers: why people think a certain thing and how one must pay heed to the customer and adapt commodities fitting to the consumers’ desires. It was an extremely effective and pivotal idea.
The things about what makes people tick traipse all back to the marketing principles Philip Kotler wrote about in his books: consumer behavior, organizational behavior, psychology, marketing management, strategic planning, and leadership qualities.
His was the first true book to be published on marketing principles and later, on marketing management. In other words, he penned the metaphorical book on marketing, quite literally.
Back in the 1960s, he strived for marketing to become a discipline in academics. He believed marketing was an integral part of economic studies and applications and saw that demand was influenced not only by price but also by other factors like advertising promotion and so on, as has been mentioned before. He understood how efficient marketing was and strived for marketing to become its major subject to be pursued by students at colleges and universities, and also as part of MBA programs in educational institutions.
“The marketing work of an organization is to set the needs and interests of target markets and to achieve the consequences that are wanted more effectively and efficiently than the available competition in a way that enhances the consumer’s goodwill.”- One of his finest phrases.
Kotler helped groups modify their attitudes toward healthier and safer lifestyles and also in the preparation of the field of social marketing that focuses on helping people. He also created the concept of “demarketing” to help in the case of reducing the demand levels of commodities. He is also responsible for the development of the concepts of “atmospherics,” “prosumers,” and “societal marketing.”
Kotler agitated for “broadening the field of marketing” to cover not only commercial operations but also the proceedings of non-profit organizations and government has undertaken agencies. According to him, a museum requires the marketing facilities and tactics of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion (the 4P’s) if it is aspirant of being lucrative in attracting visitors, investors, staff members, and public support. He stated that marketing can be applied not only to products, services, and experiences, but also to causes, ideas, persons, and places.
Kotler and Gerald Zaltman created the field of social marketing, which applies marketing theses to affect behavior change that would benefit consumers and their peers and society as a whole.
Kotler and Sidney Levy developed the idea of ‘demarketing’, which organizations must employ to decrease overall or selective demand when demand is too much. Therefore, for example, when water is in short supply, the government and its target agencies need to persuade various water consumers to decrease water utilization so that enough water will be there for essential usage.
In 2018, Christian Sarkar and Kotler started endorsing brand activism, the business model that businesses and trades must go beyond Corporate Social Responsibility to go over the world’s most urgent discrepancies.
Philip Kotler, due to his stoic stature in the field of digital marketing and trades, will forever remain a revered figure for the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs and businessmen due to the blessings he has penned in the form of his books.
His students will always remember him as a gem of a person and idolize him for years to come, because after all, he is, the Father of Digital Marketing. “A good company promises to deliver exemplary commodities and goods. A great company, along with the above, also strives to make the world a better place, to conduct business and live in.” – Philip Kotler
Some say that the world’s first digital marketer was Gugliemo Marconi, who created the radio in 1896. Others would argue that computer engineer Ray Tomlinson, who sent the first email in 1971, should be credited with the origin of digital marketing.
In the 1990s, the phrase “digital marketing” was coined. With the introduction of the internet and the creation of the Web 1.0 platform, the digital era began. Users could get the information they needed on the Web 1.0 platform, but they couldn’t share it.
In India, digital marketing dates back to 1995, when VSNL began offering internet services. However, barely 0.5 percent of India’s population accessed the internet until 2000. The internet boom really took off after 2005, and digital marketing in India began to take off.
The debut of internet services in India in 1995 marked the beginning of digital marketing in India. This was the first small step toward India’s digital marketing revolution. VSNL (Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited) introduced the Internet service in India on August 15, 1995.
SEO as we know it now began in the mid-1990s.
Marketing has a far longer history than most people realise. While there is considerable debate about when marketing originated, many historians believe it began approximately 1500 BCE (before the Common Era), when Mesopotamian communities began mass producing commodities that required quality control.