Saturday, July 14, 2007

Book Review : Ten Deadly Marketing Sins

Book Title : Ten Deadly Marketing Sins, Signs and Solutions
Author : Philip Kotler

Publisher : Wiley India
Price : Rs 299
Pages : 152
Edition : 2006

Book Review Count : 3

A book that is a must read for all marketers, Ten Deadly Sins is a simple but a thought provoking book. Yet another masterpiece from th Marketing Guru Kotler. When you read through the first few pages, it will seem to be the repetition of marketing funda from his text. But as you move along, the importance of these concepts will slowly unfold.
This book authenticates what Dr.Kotler used to say " Marketing is easy to understand but difficult to practice". All the concepts explained in this book are very simple and some what obvious to even the uninitiated , but how often even the best companies fail to practice these ideas and concepts are quite surprising.
What Dr Kotler aims with this book is to provide the marketing practitioners a ready reckoner of marketing mistakes which they ought to introspect.
Prof.Kotler identifies the Ten deadly sins as :
  1. Your Company is not sufficiently market focused and customer driven.
  2. Your company does not fully understand its target customers.
  3. Your company has not properly managed its relationships with its stakeholders.
  4. Your company is not good at finding new opportunities.
  5. Your company is not good in finding new opportunities.
  6. Your company's marketing planning process is deficient.
  7. Your company's product and service policies need tightening.
  8. Your company's brand building and communication skills are weak.
  9. Your company is not well organized to carry on effective and efficient marketing.
  10. Your company has not made maximum use of technology.
These sins explained in ten chapters virtually covers all the pitfalls that a company faces in the marketing domain.
What I like most in this book is that the author tries to drive home the point that CUSTOMER focus is the Key to marketing success. Although this is an oft quoted Cliche , we know that some of the largest companies are myopic in their customer management.
If the renowned author and venture capitalist Mr Guy Kawasaki faces the issue of having to spent 68 minutes to cancel a service which he hadn't ordered, what will be the fate of an ordinary customer. Read the full transcript of Guy's experience here : Customer Service

After having explained the sins, Kotler went on to prescribe Ten Commandments to all marketers.He exhorts us to frame them on our walls
  1. The company segments the market, chooses the best segments,and develops a strong position in each chosen segments.
  2. The company maps its customers' needs,perceptions, preferences,and behavior and motivates its stakeholders to obsess about serving and satisfying the customers.
  3. The company knows its major competitors and their strengths and weaknesses.
  4. The company builds partners out of its stakeholders and generously rewards them.
  5. The company develops systems for identifying opportunities, ranking them and choosing the best ones.
  6. The company manages a marketing planning system that leads to insightful longterm and short term plans.
  7. The company exercises strong control over its product and service mix.
  8. The company builds strong brands by using the most cost-effective communication and promotion tools.
  9. The company builds marketing leadership and a team spirit among its various departments.
  10. The company adds technology that gives it a competitive advantage in the market place.
Here in this book, Mr. Kotler yet again proves that marketing is too important to be left with marketing people. In Chapter 4 he emphasis on how satisfied stakeholders can build marketing effectiveness. He asks the CEO's to manage he employees better so that at the end of it customers are better managed.
Ten Deadly Marketing Sins is for CEOs to sit with the colleagues and examine each of these deadly sins. Then determine which is the most serious and then find solutions for it. One of my favorite quotes is this " Marketing's work should not be so much about selling but about creating products that don't need selling". .... How True...

Verdict: Highly recommended.