Research Insights 17.1 Broadening the Concept of Marketing

Not-for-Profit and Social Marketing

Source: Kotler, P. and Levy, S.J. (1969), ‘Broadening the concept of marketing’, Journal of Marketing, 33, 1 (January), 10–15.

Abstract: Marketing is a pervasive societal activity that goes considerably beyond the selling of toothpaste, soap, and steel. The authors interpret the meaning of marketing for nonbusiness organizations and the nature of marketing functions such as product improvement, pricing, distribution, and communication in such organizations. The question considered is whether traditional marketing principles are transferable to the marketing of organizations, persons, and ideas.

Insight: In this seminal article, the authors proposed that marketing techniques and concepts, as typified by the 4Ps, could be applied to non-business organizations and therefore could be applied to the marketing of organizations, persons, and ideas. It provoked a considerable debate at the time, with some writers suggesting that the concept of marketing had been broadened too far.