Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Great Lists of Marketing Ideas

Book review of Kotler on Marketing - How to Create, Win, and Dominate Markets by Philip Kotler (published 1999 by The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc.).

Philip Kotler writes great books. I've read several of them. This is my favorite - it's a simple way to learn more about marketing products and services - like software.

Based in the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Professor Kotler has sold more than 3,000,000 textbooks in 20 languages.

The first two-thirds of "Kotler on Marketing" deals with strategic marketing and tactical marketing. It delivers tons of information that can help software developers sell more software products and services. I believe that it's essential to get a grounding in traditional marketing, and Kotler's presentation is the best.

The last third of the book deals with administrative marketing (which doesn't apply to one-person software development companies) and with transformation marketing (which is a bit simplistic for software developers who already know lots about computer technology and the Internet).

Kotler writes great lists of marketing tasks. Even when some of the topics don't apply directly to the software development industry or to software marketing, it's great to have complete lists so we can make sure that there aren't any marketing tasks that we might have missed.

For example, Kotler's list of winning marketing practices includes winning through higher quality, better service, lower prices, high market share, adaptation and customization, continuous product improvement, product innovation, entering high-growth markets, and through exceeding customer expectations. It's great to have a list like this so we can think about how each of these ideas can improve our sales and marketing.

"Kotler on Marketing" includes a list of the marketing problems that most enterprises face, a list of questions posed by marketers, and checklists that help you assess which of your company's functional areas are sufficiently customer-oriented. And that's a summary of the first 21 pages.

The book continues with nine ways to build demand for your products and services, selecting your product positioning, tools for building your brand identity, evaluating a brand's effectiveness, developing and using market intelligence, developing your product and service mix, acquiring, retaining, and growing customers, and dozens of other critical topics for software developers.

"Kotler on Marketing" contains the marketing information that microISVs need to create and execute their software marketing plans. You may not agree with all of the ideas in the book. But you can be confident that Kotler has covered all of the important marketing topics.

This book isn't an easy read. It's a dry book, written by a marketing professor. But Kotler's ideas can be turned into higher sales. I highly recommend reading "Kotler on Marketing."

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