Thursday, August 14, 2008

Liberal arts and Marketing in China

This week Saul Gitlin, an intimate expert of the Chinese marketing world, made a very interesting observation when we talked about the state of the marketing discipline in China. He outlined how the low value and poor perception of studying liberal arts in China might contribute to the slower growth of marketing in this large country. This lack of excitement for liberal arts amongst young people could significantly decrease the pool of talented and well trained creative thinkers that the marketing discipline needs so desperate.

Saul and I discussed a few strong similarities between liberal arts and marketing:
  • Absorbing written words (Books or Consumer research) to build a meaningful interpretation
  • The interlude between intense research and free flowing brainstorming to come up either with an interesting academic hypothesis or with a compelling strategic idea
  • Quick understanding of different universes, either the worlds of literary figures or of real consumers
  • Importance of intellectual curiosity to be successful in either disciplines

I will try to find some more concrete number over the next weeks to find a number correlation (percentage of beginning liberal arts student in China versus other countries as part of all beginning students) that might help us to validate Saul’s and my thinking.


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