What Do You Wish You Had Learned in Marketing Class?

4 08 2010

I sent out a question to a combination of my contacts and other random people on LinkedIn.  My idea was to use the wisdom of crowds to help guide the subject matter I am going to teach in my intro MBA Marketing class coming up in a couple of weeks.

The question I sent out was this:

“I am teaching an intro course to MBA Marketing in August. Question: What do you wish you had learned in your marketing class but didn’t? Or, if you never took Marketing classes, what do you wish the Marketing people you worked with had known but didn’t?”

There were some great responses.  The overwhelming response was: My marketing classes were a great foundation but too theoretical.  Marketing classes need to be much more practical, hands-on and real-world.

Other responses received from more than one respondent (in order of number of responses):

  • MBA Marketing needs to cover both B2C and B2B marketing.  B2B is often overlooked.  You also need to cover motivational marketing – what makes these buyers purchase your product?
  • Stakeholder influence.  Nobody gets to just go and implement marketing plans.  The first “sell” that every marketer has to make is either to their own organization or to a client.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of marketing.  Was your marketing program successful or not?  How do you know?
  • How to use Social Media Marketing, Marketing 2.0, and Internet Advertising
  • Driving consensus between Marketing and Product Development on the definition of the product requirements.
  • Driving product requirements based on actual market and customer needs.  Not on the available cool technology.

Other very useful responses (in no particular order):

  • How to define your target customer.
  • How to define marketing tactics that fit your target customer and the budget of your organization
  • International marketing.  There is a big world there outside the USA.
  • When to use Social Media Marketing and when to use Traditional Marketing.
  • Integrated marketing. How to use multiple marketing programs together in an integrated fashion to achieve an overall marketing goal.
  • How to drive qualified leads to the Sales Funnel.  After all, that is the primary thing marketers are asked to do.
  • How to do cheap but effective market research.
  • How to evaluate the marketing mix in relation to a new product introduction.
  • More case studies.  In other words: Keep it real.
  • More entrepreneurial marketing.  A big trend today is away from big company marketing hires and more towards marketing startups and contracting. Prepare people for this world.
  • How to price your own marketing services.  (See point above)
  • How to adjust marketing strategy and tactics based on where a product is in its lifecycle.  For example: You don’t have the same marketing strategy for a new product intro as you do for a mature product that has steady or slowly declining revenue.

My sincere thanks to everybody who responded to this question!!  This is some great input from some people with a great deal of real-life experience.  There are real-world stories and experience behind every one of these responses.

This also proves the value of the Wisdom of Crowds.

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