Core Concepts of Marketing (Philip Kotler Summary)

Core Concepts of Marketing as defined by Dr. Philip Kotler in his widely acclaimed book - Marketing Management.


In this article, we talk about the Core Concepts of Marketing as put forward by Dr Philip Kotler. As Dr Kotler defines; Marketing Management is a social and managerial process by which individuals or firms obtain what they need or want through creating, offering, exchanging products of value with each other.

Core Concepts of Marketing By Philip Kotler


  • Need: It is a state of deprivation of some basic satisfaction. eg.- food, clothing, safety, shelter.
  • Want: Desire for specific satisfier of need. eg.- Indians needs food – wants paneer tikka/ tandoori chicken. Americans need food- wants hamburger/ French fries.
  • Demand: Want for a specific product backed up by ability and willingness to buy. eg.- Need – transportation.

Clarifying, Consumer may want – Car (say, Mercedes)……but able to buy only Volvo. Therefore, demand is for Volvo.

Marketers cannot create needs. Needs preexists. Marketers can influence wants. This is done in combination with societal influencers.

Demand influenced by making product :


To target consumers (4 P’s) – Product/ Promotion/ Price/Place


Product is anything that can satisfy need/ want.

Product component-

  1. Physical Good.
  2. Service.
  3. Idea.

eg. Fast-food- burger/ pizza.

  • Physical Good – material eaten.
  • Service – purchase of raw material/ cooking
  • Idea – the speed of computer/ processing power.

Importance of product lies in – Owning them (minor); Obtaining them (major). Hence, products are really a via- media for services. Hence, in marketing, the focus is on providing/ satisfying service rather than providing products.

Marketing Myopia: Focus on products rather than on customer needs. Read more about Marketing Myopia HERE


  • The decision for purchase made based on value/ cost satisfaction delivered by product/ offering.
  • The product fulfils/ satisfies Need/ Want.
  • Value is products capacity to satisfy needs/ wants as per consumer’s perception or estimation.
  • Each product would have a cost/ price elements attached to it.

Eg. – Travel from city A to city B.

  • Need – to reach B ( from A)
  • Method/ Products- Rail/ air/ road or train/ plane.
  • Satisfaction – Estimated in terms of time lead & travel comfort.

VALUE– Products capacity to satisfy.

COST– Price of each product.


To satisfy need/ want, people may obtain the product through

  • Self Production
  • By force or coercion
  • Begging
  • Exchange

EXCHANGE: – The act/ process of obtaining a desired product from someone by offering something in return. For exchange potential to exist, the following conditions must be fulfilled.

  1. There must be at least two parties.
  2. Each party has something of value for other parties.
  3. Each party is capable of communication & delivery
  4. Each party is free to accept/ reject the exchange offer.
  5. Each party believes it is appropriate to deal with the other party.

TRANSACTION: – Event that happens at the end of an exchange. Exchange is a process towards an agreement. When an agreement is reached, we say a transaction has taken place.

a) Barter transaction.

b) Monetary Transaction.

  1. At least two things of value.
  2. Condition agreed upon.
  3. Time of agreement.
  4. Place of agreement.
  5. May have a legal system for compliance.

Proof of transaction is BILL/ INVOICE.

TRANSFER: – It is one way. Hence, differ from Transaction.

NEGOTIATION: – Process of trying to arrive at mutually agreeable terms.

Negotiation may lead to

  • Transaction
  • The decision not to Transaction


Relationship marketing:- It’s a pattern of building long term satisfying relationship with customers, suppliers, distributors in order to retain their long term performances and business.

Achieved through promise and delivery of

  • high quality
  • good service
  • fair pricing, over a period of time.

The outcome of Relationship Marketing is a MARKETING NETWORK.

MARKETING NETWORK: It is made up of the company and its customers, employees, suppliers, distributors, advertisement agencies, retailers, research & development with whom it has built a mutually profitable business relationship.

Competition is between the whole network for market share and NOT between companies alone.


A market consists of all potential customers sharing particular need/ want who may be willing and able to engage in exchange to satisfy need/ want.

Market Size = fn (Number of people who have need/ want; have resources that interest

others, willing or able to offer these resources in exchange for what

they want).

In Marketing terms: Sellers – called as “INDUSTRY”.

Buyers – referred to in a group as “MARKET”.

Types of Markets:

  1. Resource Market,
  2. Manufacturing Market,
  3. Intermediary Market,
  4. Consumer Market,
  5. Government market.


Working with markets to actualize potential exchanges for the purpose of satisfying needs and wants. One party seeks the exchange more actively, called as “ Marketer”, and the other party is called “Prospect”.

Prospect is someone whom marketer identifies as potentially willing and able to engage in exchange. Marketer may be seller or buyer. Most of time, marketer is seller. A marketer is a company serving a market in the face of competition.

Marketing Management takes place when at least one party to a potential exchange thinks about the means of achieving desired responses from other parties.

AMA- American Marketing Association.

It defines marketing management as the process of planning & executing the conception of pricing, promotion, distribution of goods, services, ideas to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals.

Can be practised in any market.

The task of marketing management is to influence the level, timing, composition of demand in a way that will help the organization to achieve its objective. Hence, marketing management is essentially demand management.

States of “DEMAND” could be:

  • Negative demand – Major market dislikes product, hence try to avoid. eg.- injections.
  • No Demand – Constant unaware and uninterested in the product. eg.- segway.
  • Latent Demand – Need exists, not fulfilled by current products. eg.- ATM, mobile.
  • Declining demand – Demand decreases over a period of time. eg.- pagers, scooters.
  • Irregular Demand – Seasonally. eg.- fans, raincoat.
  • Full Demand – Good volume of business. eg.- toothpaste, most of FMCG items.
  • Overfull Demand – Demand greater than the ability to handle. eg.- VSNL sim card.
  • Unwholesome Demand – Unwholesome product. eg.- cigarettes, narcotic drugs.


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  15. Hi. Thank you for the wonderful article. Could you pls clarify if an examination question ask you for the 5 core concepts of marketing would you answer with the points above in your article or the production, product, selliing, marketing and societal concept instead? Which would be a more accurate answer? thank you

    • Dear Lee,
      If the question is specifically asking about ‘Core Concept of Marketing’ the points stated in this article is the apt answer. The 5 points to focus will be the ones in the center block in the above diagram (Need, Product, Value, Exchange, Relationship).
      However, the concepts mentioned by you stand a good answer when asked about approaches towards Marketing ‘Management’ where Marketing Concept, which is elaborated in this post, is one of the other 4 concepts.
      Good Luck.

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