The Running Commentary

Marketing is not for the faint hearted or undecided!

I recently had a few 140 sound bytes to say on Twitter about tertiary educations, with a particular focus on marketing qualifications.  I felt that I should clarify exactly why I made these…

I absolutely love the discipline of marketing and nothing infuriates me more than meeting people who are “Marketing Managers” according to their CV’s, but when you meet them they are marketing simpletons. They lack the requisite fundamentals of marketing and very often regurgitate examples of marketing strategy dutiful bragged about by their “lecturers”.

When you ask them question about how the strategy was arrived at they simply are not able to even begin the discussion.  Worse still, give them a hypothetical case study and they are not even able show the beginnings of how they would approach it.  They have little or zero understanding of the economics involved, often wanting to launch the latest widget through million dollar above the line campaign budgets, regardless of the widget.

I take extreme issue with tertiary organisations who “prepare” these candidates.  They have not been prepared for the discipline that it marketing.  Marketing is a tough task master and mistakes are not tolerated, poorly equipped graduates lead to poor execution of even the most basic tasks.

I get the feeling that these graduates have been lead down the proverbial garden path, promised the world as it were.  They are going to be harmed as organisations no longer have the time or resources to expend on “teaching” the graduate the basics. 

I expect that a candidate walking through my door has been prepared, not experienced and they need to understand marketing at it’s core.  Simple case studies may provide great comic relief or wow factors in the classroom, but they don’t teach the discipline. Theory cannot be shoved aside by case-study after case-study.  A case-study is there to illustrate theory and can never replace the theory.

Having said the above it may be that all of my frustration is as a result of poor lecturing, rather than poor course material. If this is the case then the tertiary organisation is still at fault, because they lack the will to get the correct lecturing staff together. 

So a word to the organisations out there, buck up.  Don’t mislead the students arriving at your institutions, help them understand that marketing is not a “fall-back” discipline.  If they want a fall-back position let them become a street worker (no offense intended) and not enter into this field.

If you enjoy marketing watch television adverts and have a ball, if you love marketing and want to become a true marketer, roll up your sleeves and prepare to get bloodied!

Direct MarketingideasMarketingskillstertiary organisationstraining

Mike • August 23, 2010

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