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Linking Young Minds Together
 Volume 3 | Issue 24 | June 19, 2011 |


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Revolutionising Marketing

Sumaiya Ahsan Bushra

For a nation like Bangladesh, business is one of the most booming areas of study and practice. Statistics show that currently a majority of the young people in Bangladesh are either studying business or working in the corporate world. In addition, a particular interest has been taken by the youth today when it comes to the field of marketing. The dynamics of the subject seems to have attracted the attention of many in the country. So, when the Guru of Marketing was to come to Dhaka, enthusiasm spread like wild fire as they rushed to the forefront to just get a glimpse of the man whose books they have been studying for almost all their university lives.

Dr Philip Kotler talking to students. Photo Credit: BRAND FORUM

On June 8, 2011, an event was organised at the Mirpur Indoor Stadium where the father of Modern Marketing Professor Dr Philip Kotler shared his ideas and experiences with a diverse audience. Organised by Brand Forum, the significance of the event was to motivate the youth and implement the fundamental ideas of marketing in the future minds. During this session with young marketers, Professor Kotler explained the essentials of the modern thought of marketing which is an important platform for the region's young marketers. Through this he urged them to understand and tackle the different marketing challenges ahead of them. He mentioned the importance of production, customer service, and sales in manoeuvring the marketing principles.

Eager students come together to listen to the Marketing guru. Photo Credit: BRAND FORUM
Enthusiastic students attending the event.
Photo Credit: BRAND FORUM
Kotler interacts with the audience.
Photo Credit: BRAND FORUM

Dr Kotler said, “Advertising is the most exciting ingredient of marketing”. He elaborated further with the aid of some examples, Volvo a brand, is not only a product but it also portrays the experience of using the product. This is an essential tool in constructing a kind of fondness towards the brand or in other words, becoming the fan of a brand!

In addition, Professor Kotler spoke about the brilliant minds in the world of business, naming people like, Steve Jobs. He encouraged the Bangladeshi people to follow in the footsteps of famous businessmen, so that they can portray and market their own original Bangladeshi products. Furthermore, he pointed out a rather humanistic picture of the business world. Businesses should not concentrate solely on making profits but should also concentrate on people, environment and other social causes. He said that any individual working in the corporate world should try to put themselves in the position of the stakeholder and then think about the business through wider lenses.

Professor Kotler also gave insightful tips on how to choose the right career. He explained that one should know exactly which sector they want to enter and work in. One must decide whether they want to work in Business to business (B2B) sector, where transactions take place between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler or the Business to consumer sector (B2C) where activities of businesses serve end-consumers with products and or services. To make it easier to understand he used a number of examples, he said that if a person wants to work in the field of marketing and is put to work in areas like production, finance, sales at first and then marketing; it is very beneficial for that person. This is because, only then, the person has a wider knowledge about the product. Also, for those studying Marketing, at university level, it is highly recommendable that they study Finance because the combination of finance and marketing is indeed very lucrative in the job market.

Apart from bombarding the young minds with ideas, Professor Kotler also spoke about his new theory, Marketing 3.0 which treats customers as technology savvy, highly motivated members of a community and not just as consumers. Basically, this theory stems from the evolutionary theory which initially existed as product focused then it was shifted to consumer focused and eventually the newly proposed system of Kotler, a value focused system.

While talking about the basics of marketing and sharing his theories with the audience, he also spoke about a concept called neuromarketing where a product is displayed before the consumer and a psychological feedback can be obtained on how the consumer views the particular product.

Young students and entrepreneurs who attended the programme seemed to have mixed feelings regarding the event. Even though, many believe that the presence of the Marketing Guru played a significant role in encouraging the youth of Bangladesh towards starting something on their own, they were also slightly disappointed by the short speech and expected a little more from the whole event. Sadia Binte Hedayat, a student of Economics at BRAC University said, “I heard so much about him and read some of his theories. So I was anticipating that it would be great. But to be honest, the programme could have been a little more elaborate.” A Corporate Officer from one of the development organisations explained, “His new theory and expressive examples were intriguing.” To reinforce the statements made above, Ahmed Ashik Rahman a young Entrepreneur who claims himself to be the 'marketing guy' said, “I read Kotler's book on marketing in the year 2000 and was really expecting something massive and revolutionary, but there was nothing new at all to be told in a mere 20 minutes of time.”

Lastly, during his visit, Professor Kotler also had exclusive session with Academicians in the field of Management and Marketing at the Senate Bhaban in Dhaka University. Both public and private University Academicians were present. Dr Kotler shared a few tips on how the educators should prepare the future business minds. He also announced the launch of his textbook Principles of Marketing in Bangla.

Professor Mijanur Rahman, Treasurer, University of Dhaka, Professor Dr A A M S Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka were present during the programme. Dr Saad Andaleeb, Distinguished Professor, Chair of Marketing, Penn State University, United States of America moderated the session.


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