Marketing for peace would work best if we convince beloved public figures to talk about peace and specific proposals

Entrevistas · ÁNGEL SATUÉ
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1 diciembre 2022
Philip Kotler is known around the world as the “father of modern marketing”, the world´s leading marketing authority. For over 50 years he has taught at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Kotler’s book Marketing Management is the most widely used textbook in marketing around the world. This is an interview focused on his vision of peace in the world and the boundaries of marketing and human heart.

In your books and papers, you have also been interested in building the common good, in «social marketing» (campaigns to mobilize people voluntarily for a cause that improves their lives and the community) and, also, in peace. “Can Peace be Marketed”, you were once asked, Why your interest in peace?

I grew up during the Second World War and saw the huge number of lives lost. Then I visited Japan and later Hiroshima and I realized the terrible power of the nuclear bomb.

We can’t just preach peace. We need to focus on stopping the current wars. Each war needs a UN team of diplomats do to what they can in that situation.

Is the abovementioned “marketed peace” some kind of “PAX ROMANA” or “PAX MERCATORIA? I mean, some kind of “statu quo” without war, conflict, allowing commercial exchanges between people, companies, countries and regions…

We need to entrust one institution, in this case, the United Nations, to take responsibility for building a peaceful world. The UN should prepare a UN arms forcé that goes to each warring country to bring about peace.

While preparing this interview, I spoke to a good friend of mine who manages marketing in a global furniture company. He asked me to name three brands of milk. I replied. He told me that the other brands, no matter how much marketing effort they put in, would hardly have any impact on me, they just weren’t on my mind. So, maybe, peace is not in people’s minds, in our hearts?

There are thousands of organized peace groups around the world spreading peace messages. They need to specifically point out “killers of peace” to their publics.  Hopefully this will reduce the power of evil groups.

In your blog you echoes the terrible war situation in the world, the drama of electoral struggles, the terrible polarization using marketing techniques, hatred in language, the absence of coexistence, how we treat the Common Home, the planet… You ask a series of very relevant questions to try to understand the causes of war, the sources of hatred, seeking the conditions for peace, social justice, freedom.

I remember a dialogue of a movie by the Cohen brothers which is «The forces that move the world are the same forces that move the heart of man». Is marketing methodology optimal to change the heart of man, for instance, through a global «peacemaking marketing campaign», or perhaps, as Reverend Billy Graham said, the program is the Beatitudes, starting with being peacemakers at home, in the community, at church, at work, and on the international scene (“Secret of Hapiness”)?

Marketing would work best if we convince beloved public figures to talk about peace and specific proposals.

Could be defined marketing as a relationship with the other, based on respect, or, if I may use this language, marketing is about spending a lot of money to get into our minds a link between, in the one hand, our desires and/or created-real needs and, in the other hand, products/services- now through digitalization?

Marketing is good at selling products but poor at selling Big Ideas, like Love, Charity, Kindness.  I hope someone like you might tackle the question of how to improve marketing’s ability to sell Big Ideas.

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