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Kotler and Levy’s Ideas Essay


For a long period of time, many scholars and associations faced the same challenge: it was very difficult to define the essence of marketing and the peculiarities of marketing system (Hunt, 1976; Ravald and Gronroos, 1996).

Taking into consideration achievements and investigations on the field of marketing, it was admitted that marketing was a combination of activities that aimed at facilitating the process of economical exchange (Graham, 1993).

Society had to take as many different steps as possible in order to promote development and improvements of these activities. However, in 1969, considerable changes took place and influenced considerable marketing sphere.

Philip Kotler and Sidney Levy (1969) made one of the most amazing and not inherent to the world announcement that “marketing is a pervasive societal activity that goes considerably beyond the selling of toothpaste, soap, and steel” (p. 10).

This idea was frequently argued by many scholars because this broadened definition of marketing was not able to disclose the essence of this crucial and irreversible process. Kotler’s idea (1972) to broaden marketing perspective could not be comprehended.

It was more important to apply “behavioral science consisting of a set of functions, the core of which was the exchange transaction” (Hirschman, 1983, p. 45). This is why it was not a surprise that Kotler and Levy’s marketing concept influenced considerably the development of events and involved more scholars to numerous discussions and evaluation of the concept.

More people were eager to influence marketing development and not to allow Kotler and Levy’s ideas dominate in the sphere of business.

On the one hand, Kotler and Levy (1969) underlined the most important things in marketing system: everything was not about to market or not to market only; but whether it was possible to do everything well or poorly.

Many various issues from relationship activities to political parties play an important role in development of marketing concept. This is why involvement of different organizations may disturb people and influence their perception of the concept.

On the other hand, this suggestion developed the thought that something was already wrong and had to be changed. To comprehend the essence of marketing and to realize what steps should be taken more, it is necessary to go far beyond this traditional concept and focus on transactional actions (Laczniak and Michie, 1979).

One more challenge that appeared after the discussed concept was introduced by McCole (2004) and connected to cross-disciplinary input. In general, he suggested to forget everything that had been achieved before and introduced more new concepts taking into account modern technologies and people’s demands.

Modern marketing conceptions are traced back to Kotler’s work. Though he admitted the necessity of values exchange and transaction processes, within a short period of time marketing paradigm started to unify more disparate approaches in order to underline the importance of customer-market relations, quality of productions and services, marketing relations, and resource management (Vargo and Lusch, 2004).

Can Kotler’s concept be relevant to modern business? Of course, it can, however, it will hardly cover all demands and requirements of this system. The idea of marketing is still accepted as a separate social unite that tries to be sought by one more social unit in order to be able to produce and offer the necessary values to the market.

What I like the most in the concept under analysis is that the authors tried to explain that marketing had deep roots and started its development with the first human being. The example of such marketing may be Eve and the snake that convinced the woman to eat the apple. From some perspectives, this case may be regarded as weak but still working marketing.

Nowadays, Kotler and Levy’s marketing concept may be proved by numerous examples. Almost each organization performs some kinds of marketing activities but still they are not recognized as such. The anti-cigarette campaigns may be taken as a possible example to demonstrate the effectiveness of this marketing concept with its all pros and cons.

This company aims at promoting anti-smoking style of life and banning cigarettes on a legal level. The representatives of this campaign may be supported from different sides and demonstrate a plenty of ads.

However, they cannot make as much money as those who deal with smoking ads and these “necessary-to-ban” products. One side markets cigarettes, another side market health. And in each case, there are both good and poor points which are evaluated by Kotler and Levy and argued by some other scholars.

In fact, Kotler and Levy made one of the most powerful attempts to define strong and weak sides of marketing. They cannot be blamed for some broadened definitions.

Their approach is comprehensible and has enough grounds to be explained (Brown, 2002); this is why it is possible to use their paradigm in regard to modern business.

Reference List

Brown, S. (2002), “”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 313-324. Web.

Graham, P. (1993), “”, Marketing Bulletin, Vol. 4, pp. 1-11.

Hirschman, E. C. (1983), “Aesthetics, ideologies and the limits of the marketing concept”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47, pp. 45 -55.

Hunt, S. D. (1976), “The nature and scope of marketing”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 40, pp. 17-28. Web.

Kotler, P. (1972), “”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 36, pp. 46-54. Web.

Kotler, P., & Levy, S. (1969), “Broadening the concept of marketing”, Journal of Marketing, 33, pp. 10-15.

Laczniak, G. R. and Michie, D. A. (1979), “”, Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, Vol.7, No. 3, pp. 214-231. Web.

McCole, P. (2004), “Refocusing marketing to reflect practice: the changing role of marketing for business”, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 531-539. Web.

Ravald, A. and Gronroos, C. (1996), “The value concept and relationship marketing”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 19-30. Web.

Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2004), “Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing”, Journal of Marketing, 68, pp. 1-17.

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