Ecco un uomo che non ha bisogno di presentazioni: per chiunque si occupi di marketing, negli Usa e nel resto del mondo, Philip Kotler è semplicemente il guru. E siccome il mondo cambia in continuazione e scrivere libri non basta mai per essere sul pezzo, ha anche una sua società di consulenza con un suo sito web.
Leggerne l’opera in lingua originale stimola, arricchisce e non è neppure particolarmente complicato.
Qui un piccolo saggio, seguito dalla traduzione italiana. Kotler sta concettualizzando alcune differenze chiave (bisogni, desideri, domanda) e ne approfitta per… riflettere su alcuni stereotipi: il marketing che crea bisogni indotti artificialmente, e dare la sua opinione in materia.
A useful distinction can be drawn between needs, wants, and demands. A human need is a state of felt deprivation of some basic satisfaction. People require food, clothing, shelter, safety, belonging, esteem, and a few other things for survival. These needs are not created by their society orby marketers; they exist in the very texture of human biology and the human condition.Wants are desires for specific satisfiers of these deeper needs. (…) Although people’s needs are few, their wants are many. Human wants are continually shaped and reshaped by social forces and institutions, such as churches, schools, families, and business corporations.Demands are wants for specific products that are backed by an ability and willingness to buy them. Wants became demands when supported by purchasing power. Many people want a Mercedes; only a few are able and willing to buy one.Companies must therefore measure not only how many people want their product but, more important, how many would actually be willing and able to buy it.These distinction shed light on the frequent charge by marketing critics that “marketers create needs” or “marketers get people to buy things they don’t want”. Marketers do not create needs; needs preexist marketers. Marketers, along with other influencers in the society, influence wants. They promote the idea that a Mercedes would satisfy a person’s need for social status. Marketers, however, do not create the need for social status.Marketers influence demand by making the product appropriate, attractive, affordable, and easily available to target consumers.
(Philip Kotler, Marketing management, VIII ed., USA 1994, p. 7)