Personal reflections on my book's role in Russian marketing

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 7 March 2008



Kotler, P. (2008), "Personal reflections on my book's role in Russian marketing", European Business Review, Vol. 20 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Personal reflections on my book's role in Russian marketing

I am deeply indebted to the three authors for their excellent detective work in tracing the evolution and impact of my books in the Soviet Union and Russia. I learned a great deal from their research.

My first experience was to receive a surprising Russian edition of Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning and Control published in 1980 and consisting of only 223 pages. I could only speculate what was left out of my 529-page book published in English. I assumed that the translators could only use the material on selling and international marketing and chose to deemphasize any reference to consumer sovereignty. But the authors of this new research pointed out that much more was at play in shaping that first Russian edition.

I have been gratified that subsequent Russian translations of my books have grown in size, virtually matching the original sizes in English. My regret is that I do not read Russian and cannot attest to their accuracy, knowing that some words in English have nuances that may not be captured in the Russian language.

My further thought is that it is now time to move from a translation of Marketing Management to an adaptation of Marketing Management that takes into account the specific conditions in the Russian economy and in Russian marketing practice. Needed would be an eminent Russian marketing professor or group who would undertake to build in descriptions of the Russian consumers' demographics and psychographics, Russian wholesaling and retailing practices, and cases of innovative Russian marketing companies. Normally, this information is supplied separately by marketing teachers but it could be the basis of a Russian adaptation of Marketing Management. This has already been done in the case of Chinese, Indian, French, German, Italian, Australian, and other adaptations of Marketing Management.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my past speaking engagements in Moscow and my visits to St Petersburg. I remember how my first visit included appearances at two bookshops and my surprise of seeing hundreds of people attending to hear a few words from me, including people who could not follow my English words. On each of my visits to Russia, I see more material progress. I hope that Russia keeps improving its product quality and branding, its service quality, its advertising, its retailing, and its international exports. I am pleased if my books played some role in making this progress possible. Hopefully, they have also played an important role in Russian business schools among their scholars and students. My book Marketing Management has been translated into over 25 languages and has also been adapted with local information in several countries (China, India, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, etc.) It is the most widely used book in virtually all business schools in the world. The 13th edition will be published in 2008.

Philip KotlerKellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, USA

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