Marketing Management Concepts by Kotler and Levy

Kotler and Levy (1967, P. 54) have challenged the traditional marketing concepts and instead proposed broadened perspective of marketing where generic concepts of marketing are favored. The broadened marketing concepts have been widely echoed by the academics. Marketing here is referred to as an applied behavioral science that entails exchange of transactions. Keller and Kotler (2008, P. 46) observes that marketing is a decision making exercise geared towards satisfying the demands of the customer when targeting market. This essay is going to look at how the broadened concepts of marketing are perceived in the discipline of marketing.

Bourassa, Cunningham and Handelman (2007, p. 183) assert that Kotler has legitimized the field of marketing as an academic and managerial domain of a lot of importance the operation of organizations a view that is favored by many especially those quoted in this essay. His broadened perspective of marketing has shaped the field of marketing- a discipline that everybody wants to be involved in. Kotler and Levy in their 1969 article “broadening” said that marketing “provide useful set of concepts for guiding all organizations” one limitation has been (Kotler & Levy 1969, p. 54) that the non profit making organizations are quite different from profit oriented organization pertaining to their funding and whom they are answerable to. Broadening has created a culture where marketing is assumed to be indispensible for new organizations that intend to survive in the market (Lazer 1969, p. 8).

Graham (1993, p. 8) reports that Luck’s contention with Kotler and Levy’s broadened perspective of marketing was that while they were gunning for redefinition of marketing, they did not come up with one such new explanation to marketing. This dissent by Luck did not yield ground. In 1971 Kotler and Zaltman seemed to have come up with solution to Wiebe as to whether brotherhood can be sold just like one can sell soap. Kotler and Zaltman gave an assertive yes you can to this question. In this respect marketing is perceived to cover not only non business and non profit making organization but also planning and implementing social change. Enis is also concerned with the concept of marketing that is broadened. He took issue with Kotlers assertion that advocates for further expansion with a view to deepen instead of broadening the concept of marketing. He said that Kotler would consider activities like financial vice president seeking loan from a bank, merchant bribing government official, graduate seeking fellowship, man wishing to win a woman’s heart being within the scope of marketing (Loudon, Loudon & Stevens 2004, p. 125). Marketing is involved with relationship between buyers and sellers of economic services and goods where as Kotler and Levy maintain that the whole idea of marketing is all about exchange rather than the economic bit of the relationship (Palmer 1995, p. 474).

Palmer further notes that marketing has a traditional domain and therefore it boundaries deserve respect. He purports that the study of bribery of public officials is more of political science and that procurement of loans belong to the discipline of finance. He says that the story of the graduate student and the man are not economic. Enis register that despite the fact that the transactions taking place in the market may be involved in carrying out such activities, they belong to the primary function of such activities. He says transactions where exchange is difficult to come up with should not be included in the field o marketing. Palmer did not consider broadening the concept of marketing as a positive way towards developing marketing. He perceived the concept as being multidimensional. He said that for broadened perspective would have been conclusive if it were comprehensive, more integrated and more clear a concept he called deepening. Vargo and Lusch (2004, p. 14) observes that broadening the concept of marketing risked bringing the following vices on board: broadened concept risked shifting attention away from problems of physical distribution to non business interests; decision making process have been prioritized over knowledge of subject decisions are being made about. Tucker in 1974 attacked Kotler’s concept claiming that it was actually a foundation theory. Tucker said should be extensively concern itself with economic rationality, effectiveness of advertising, assortment of merchandise, policies pertaining to pricing, management of inventories and sales areas. However, Kotler concept received overwhelming support. Hirschman (1983, p. 51) asserts that a majority of the scholars accepted the idea of broadening to embrace efforts of non business organizations to fulfill societal needs. The author further noted that marketing should be concerned with the welfare of the people rather than the gains accrued from it and it should hold the aspirations of the society.

Palmer (1995, p. 479) explores the issue of in integrated marketing communication by focusing on the case of Jim Lesinski, the then marketing manager of the North American Volvo truck company who contemplated developing the marketing mix. When he communicated this to his bosses in the mother company the Swedish AB Volvo, they were adamant citing that the costs involved in actualizing the project would be higher. This even made Jim to develop cold feet but he later changed his mind and went ahead with the marketing mix project. Eventually, the company sales flourished. Jim initiated intensive marketing communication mix which entailed advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relation and direct marketing in his effort to maximize the profits. In support of the broadened marketing, some academics register the aesthetic, ideologies and limits of the traditional marketing concepts (Hirschman, 1983 p.1).

Businesses should consider broadening their marketing concepts to ensure that they maximize their profits. The academics, despite of voices of dissent that have been witnessed with Enis, Palmer and Luck, heavily agree with the works of Kotler, Levy, Vargo and Lusch on the need for broadening of the marketing concepts as opposed to traditional marketing. In deed their in put has advanced Marketing as a discipline.


Bourassa, M. A, Cunningham, P, H & Handelman, J. M., 2007, How Philip Kotler has helped to shape the field of marketing. European Business Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 174-192.

Graham, P. 1993, Marketing’s domain: a critical review of the development of the marketing concept. 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.

Keller, K. V & Kotler, P., 2008, Marketing Management. New York: Prentice Hall.

Kotler, P & Levy, S., 1969, Broadening the Concept of Marketing. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 33, p. 54

Kotler, P & Levy, S., 2007, Marketing Management, 12th Edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice-Hall.

Lazer, W. 1969. Marketing’s Changing Social Relationships. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 33, pp. 3-9

Loudon, D. L, Loudon, L, & Stevens, R., 2004, Marketing management: text and cases. London: Routledge.

Palmer, A, J. (1995). Relationship marketing: local implementation of a universal concept International Business Review, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 471-481.

Vargo, S. L. & Lusch, R. F. 2004. Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 68, No. 1, pp. 1-17

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