Marketing 3.0 Prepares For A World Where Brands Do More Than Sell

I’ll admit that anything with a “2.0” or “3.0” in the title gets off on the wrong foot with me, because it just sounds so stuffy. And there’s a lofty goal in the basic thesis of Marketing 3.0: From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit by Philip Kotler, who claims that this new era is “where customers are seeking to connect with the customers’ spirit in this age where customers want the company to assume more social responsibility for the issues that concern all of us (environment, poverty, disease, drugs…)” Quite a number of marketing and advertising gurus have been preaching that brands and companies serve a higher purpose, and yes, a few brands are listening. So Kotler’s book is quite timely in that regard.
Now as I write this, the Gulf of Mexico is being ravaged by spilled oil from BP, who’ve spent years greenwashing with TV spots telling us what great corporate citizens they are. So I wonder if Kotler, for all his good intentions, is just wasting his breath. It seems like he’s preaching to the choir of marketing consultants who spout off about corporate social responsibility when in reality, corporations really have little concern for anything other than the bottom line–and only care about issues when they affect the bottom line. And while he lays out a plan and a list of credos for marketers to follow to communicate a higher sense of values, it’s just really hard to think too many companies are genuine enough to follow it.
I wish Marketing 3.0 was a book entrepreneurs and small companies would read before they get into business, in which case it’s a great blueprint to work from. Unfortunately, Profit 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 will, for most companies, always take precedence over Marketing 3.0.
Special thanks to John Wiley & Sons who provided me a copy for review.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.