This Bank Holiday Monday, marketers across the world reflected on their approach to communicating with audiences and converting consumers into clients.

27 May was officially designated World Marketing Day in 2023, honouring the birthday of the ‘father of modern marketing’, Philip Kotler – who turned 93 this year!

Now, with the day itself in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to consider how marketing theory has evolved with the advent of technology and relationship-centred brands – and how we can put this into practice.

Celebrating Kotler

Throughout a glistening career spanning seven decades, Kotler is credited with popularising a number of widely regarded marketing theories, including the idea of social marketing for the ‘common good’.

He is most widely recognised for the so-called ‘marketing mix’ or four Ps of product or service marketing:

  • Promotion – Why this product or service?
  • Product – What is being offered?
  • Place – Where and how are you communicating?
  • Price – What is the value and cost of the product or service?

Even if it isn’t done consciously, this is something that every successful marketing firm employs in its approach to supporting clients.

However, this framework is more than four simple words. Underpinning it are the ideals of meeting client needs and building a relationship based on these needs.

At the core of effective marketing, whether over a single campaign or a decades-long professional relationship, is the ability to recognise the needs of an audience and address them with empathy and understanding.

Better yet, the best campaigns act as a guiding light, helping audiences take action and help themselves.

This is reflected in the way that marketing has now evolved. While Kotler’s theory centred the product or service, the more holistic ‘seven Ps of marketing’ recognise that it is relationships at the centre of a great campaign, incorporating:

  • People – Everyone involved in the product/service and your campaign, including clients and colleagues
  • Process – The experience that your campaign and product/service delivers to clients beyond the transaction itself
  • Physical evidence – Evidence for your clients that your product/service delivers on its promises, which may include social proof, your brand image and on-site experience.

Ultimately, it is these factors together – Kotler’s marketing mix – that constructs a relationship with your audience and turns your offering into an integral part of prospective clients’ lives.

Practice – The eighth P

As an agency, we work with a wide variety of businesses from accountants to care providers.

This means that we’re responsible for building relationships with a range of audiences, while acting as a translator between a firm and its potential clients – essentially putting the seven Ps into practice.

Tom Mason, Communications Director, said: “We need to be incredibly sensitive to the needs of our clients and theirs to achieve this.

“Doing so means keeping up to date with the latest tools at our disposal and, in recent years, that has meant understanding and adopting new technology, including AI.”

Evolving landscapes

Digitisation has been the major trend in the marketing sector for a number of years, but AI has changed the way that we understand and create content.

Tom continued: “AI is an incredibly useful tool for busy marketing teams, acting almost like another half a person for content creation, brainstorming and campaign planning.

“There’s obviously no substitute for real experience and that does show in the raw content that AI produces, so the industry has to tread carefully when adopting generative AI like ChatGPT – but there is also little point in resisting AI adoption.

“Cutting-edge marketing firms have all adopted AI to some extent because it’s going to support growth and save time in a way that nothing else we currently use can do.”

Ultimately, the rise of AI in the sector is also evidence that marketing is an evolving landscape. We’ve seen the recognition of a structure to marketing efforts, and then the addition of people and relationships at the centre of them.

Now that technology is entering a predominantly person-first, creative industry, the sector looks set for another major change, which could be your opportunity to grow your brand even further.

If you’d like to learn more about how your firm can build relationships that last with your marketing strategy, please get in touch with our team. 

Call: 0121 355 4774 or email:

Categories: Blog