Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teaching in Marketing

A lot of marketers forget to stay teachers during their career. It’s critical that more executives in our discipline teach the younger colleagues in both fundamentals of marketing as well as helping younger people to truly innovate and disrupt our marketing discourse. It seems that a lot of marketing executives are just trying to survive another day, either on the client side through the pressure of daily sales performance or on the services side through the grind of ever more demanding clients. The overall business pressure is increasing, especially in today’s time of recession and financial uncertainty, which seems to leave less time for any true teaching. But good teaching in marketing is a critical necessity that will ensure the survival and strategic competitiveness of any corporation.

What is good teaching today in any marketing organization? A few elements come to mind:
  • Good teaching is not about seeing the world the way that everyone does. Teaching is about training younger colleagues in being “Counterintuitive”. It is about taking a different perspective on an issue or challenge than anyone else. It is about challenging the status quo and general consensus.
  • Good teaching is about helping younger colleagues to push their own expertise to another level. It is about not being satisfied with the first attempt that they are sharing with you but motivating them to try it a few times more until they have really put their teeth into their work.
  • Good teaching is about sharing your own ideas or thoughts, the book insights you might have discovered, the observations that you have done. It’s about sharing knowledge and information transparency, it’s not about secrecy and hording of knowledge in your office and mind.
  • Good teaching is about not taking yourself too seriously. If you can’t show younger colleagues that our profession is more than just a bunch of billable hours or an endless array of meetings, than you are not teaching the right thing.
Every marketing executive should consider themselves a teacher of our discipline. Teaching will truly determine the future of our discipline

3 Comments:

Blogger jaqy said...

Marketing is becoming more and more a cross disciplinary function. Marketers forget to being students. It is more important to stay as students than teachers.

A true teacher is someone who never stops learning, learning by sharing is one way.

Many a time, being counter-intuitive becomes a way to show-off and be smart shortsightedly - especially when data is used to support the "counter-intuitive" hypothesis rather than something driven by data.

Switching between intuitive and counter-intuitive as the situation warrants seems to be in vogue.

Time to teach may be scarce, but if one does not find time to learn, the going is downhill.

I have been reading your disjointed blogs, some of them very counter-intuitive, some of them for the sake of being so. I learn a new secret to success at marketing one self. Thanks

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