We, as many of you surely have, have listened, watched, or even participated in debates and discussions about the disconnect between marketing academia and marketing professionals.
What many of our up-and-coming professionals learn in the classroom is often quite different in the workplace. And vice versa; we don't often run into the marketing research strategies and tactics we learn in the classroom or in a book in the workplace or agency workshop.
Is there a winner?
As you guessed it. It depends.
Today we are taking the side of academia. Learning the basics of marketing and advertising is crucial to the development into a successful practitioner. One can learn best practices without rubbing shoulders with those who carry bad habits. Being in a learning environment helps marketing lovers stay curious and adventurous, away from the fear of being hated by the client or boss.
As we were diving into the depths of marketing education, and now as we straddle the line between education and industry, we have come to realize that our foundation of marketing theory has helped our understanding.
True, the marketplace is not pure, by any means. So sticking to straight theory in the field would undoubtedly be problematic. But with theory, much like economics, you get to learn relationships in the marketplace, and how things are "supposed" to work together. You can derive correlations between buying, selling, and other activities.
Do not downplay the benefits of getting solid learning in marketing and advertising. Though the bad may outweigh the good, the good education can really set one on pace to have an impact on the industry.
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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