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Marketing Models: Peter Drucker vs. Jack Ma

Small-scale investigation where the material was collected through secondary data including article searches of the internet and academic journal.

Author, Zaleha Othman.

Peter Drucker and Jack Ma are the two marketing gurus of the centuries. Both men established a marketing model that changed the concept of marketing. Both believe in marketing as the strategy to entrepreneurship. Both are customer oriented. Most important, both are influential marketers; the former managed marketing, whilst the later a market player himself.

Taking both men marketing perspectives further, I decided to do a bit of analysis, examining their strategy, business model, purpose, principle, aim, manifesto, mission and marketing motto. Thus, I conducted a small-scale investigation where the material was collected through secondary data including article searches of the internet and academic journal. Subsequently, these are my findings.  

Marketing the Peter Drucker’s Way. Widely established as a modern marketing guru, Peter F. Drucker introduced a marketing concept that is used by many and had a deep impact on the field of marketing. Not only did he inspires entrepreneur, he also provides direction for marketers. Peter Drucker always believe marketing is product and product is marketing. He sees marketing as the nucleus of the enterprise. His many quotes referred to marketing as about entire enterprise not about selling.

Marketing the Jack Ma’s Way. Marketing to Jack Ma is the internet. Although he confessed that he is not a technology person, his marketing strategy is phenomenal. Jack Ma open up to a new world of marketing model, i.e. internet marketing. Alibaba is an example of a successful marketing model. With the goal of facilitating international trade for small and medium ventures based in China, Jack Ma established the biggest e-commerce company.

Tales of two people. So, what is unique about these two marketers? Interestingly, digging through the net, I found there are similarities and differences between these marketers. Table 1 highlights the similarities and differences of both men, one a father of modern management and the other is a tech mogul. My analysis indicates their marketing approaches, i.e. styles and beliefs. I found the tales of these two peoples are different yet similar. Both demonstrate their manifesto of marketing in different ways but with one aim – customers are king.  Subsequently, I came up with the following table, that addressed both men marketing approaches.

Table 1: Tales of Two Marketers

Marketing Peter DruckerJack Ma
StrategyConventional Marketing Strategy.Digital Marketing Strategy.
Business ModelMarketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.Highly customised product is the thing – One size fits all model is no longer in the future.
Basic Marketing PrincipleProduct, Price, Place and Promotion.
Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning.
Purpose of businessTo create and keep customer.Build relationship that last.
Aim of marketingKnow and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him or her and sells itself.Building trust as a component of customers and companies.
Mission If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.Manufacturing and Supply Chain is on the disruptive list.
Marketing MottoCentral to management. Made in internet.

Source: The Internet.

From linear marketing to non-linear. What Table 1 depicted to me is that the marketing model changes over time. With its dynamic and fast pace, social media has changed the mindset of marketers. The conventional way (Peter Drucker) which uses a linear marketing approach is taking the effect. Jack Ma’s has introduced the new wave of marketing i.e. the non-linear marketing. Nonetheless, the component of the linear marketing introduced by Peter is essential regardless of the technology intervention.  I observed that Peter Drucker has taught us the basic of marketing, the 4 Ps, which are essential for marketing strategy. However, the approach Peter advocate needs improvement. Jack Ma did just that – taking the internet and optimize the use and made marketing non-linear. Jack Ma established the value exchange model where he sees customers as the point of innovation. Peter sees the customer as profit. Jack Ma made marketing free flow, and two ways; sharing between consumer and provider.

Peter Drucker’s tale concurs the concept of customer oriented. He laid a foundation of marketing by focusing on reading the mind of the customer. Jack Ma tale on the other hands uses the customer as an opportunity, he sees the customer as a valuable informer for innovation.

Zaleha is a Resident Faculty at OYAGSB, UUM. Follow her on ResearchGate.

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OYAGSB or the Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia is one of the leading business schools in Asia. It offers Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Management (D Management) programmes for ambitious professionals, corporate executives and senior officials in their journey to formalise their knowledge at the highest level. To apply, visit OYAGSB’s official website.

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