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A Good Mix
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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In the communications industry, there are many different theories and practices one can cling onto. There are those who went through vigorous and not-so-vigorous colleges and universities to attain a degree. Others received formal training while on the job. And others still may have just fallen into the trade simply because what they were previously doing translated well.

We have been in several discussions about the difference between academia and professional people in the marketing and advertising world. The academic world enjoys the theory in communication, the theory in consumer behavior, and how certain activities should work.

The professional people rely not on academic research, but on previous experience. They rely on what they have done or learned along the way, and base future decisions on their experience.

Is there a clear right opinion? We don't believe so.

And neither does the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The school is gathering a number of professors and CMOs together to talk about the "Future of Advertising" in an effort to continue its "Advertising 2020" project. At the school there is even a Future of Advertising program.

Very cool.

The goal? To connect agencies, CMOs, academics, search agencies, and practitioners together to discuss what the future of marketing will look like.

Yes, it will have the typical topics; comparing marketing and advertising to art, and creating outrageous acronyms to prove a point (see: AGILE CHOPS), but the symposium will hopefully challenge many of the thought leaders to think differently and create a style of advertising that will help everyone grow more appreciation for it.

Will it succeed? We certainly hope so. It's a good thing to see all sorts of marketing folks, academic and professional, get together to get in the same frame of mind. Let's hope some good stuff comes out of it.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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