BOOK REVIEW: Kotler's red book is a must for marketers

In the 1960s, scores of wild-eyed students walked around colleges carrying a little red book by Mao Tse-Tung, the founding father of communist China.

In the 1960s, scores of wild-eyed students walked around colleges carrying a little red book by Mao Tse-Tung, the founding father of communist China.

I suspect marketing and PR students will walk around campus carrying this new little red book. It summarizes marketing's major tenets much like Mao addressed communism in his day.

Kotler, a professor at Northwestern's graduate school of management, may not be modern marketing's founding father, but he surely is in the pantheon of major marketing mavens. His followers wait for every book he pens - this one being his 35th.

This reads like a fascinating lecture, covering such topics as keeping focused on customers, finding new business opportunities, and monitoring competitors. Much of it may sound obvious - until you recall how many companies fail to grasp the obvious.

PR pros will enjoy Kotler's comments about adding PR to the marketing mix and his criticism of companies that continue to spend marketing dollars without considering which marketing tools are the most effective.

Title Ten Deadly Marketing Sins

Author Philip Kotler

Publisher John Wiley & Sons (March 2004), 152 pages

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