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Marketers: are you fit for purpose?

Steve Carter, Professor of Marketing

Faculty Blog

We at Edinburgh Business School are currently updating the Marketing courses and have conducted research amongst a number of practice-based international marketing experts to gain their insights into what is required of today’s marketers.

It will come as no surprise that the results echo a long-running theme: that today’s marketers are simply not fit for purpose. Formative and in-service education and training are held by many to be at fault, coupled with a lack of will by practitioners to undertake formal training to keep up with a fast-moving digital marketing age. There also appears to be a lack of ambition, a disconnect between the language of the boardroom and marketing, a fear of accountability and an ‘incapability’ with numbers.

This has led to marketing falling short of the tenets of its success: innovation and return on investment. Indeed, a recent interview between Sir Martin Sorrell, (founder of WPP, the largest communication services group in the World and a serial entrepreneur) and a recent investor in a marketing organisation (Lord Sugar) revealed a perception that marketers deal in ‘bluster not effectiveness’.

So we at EBS are striving to address this. Maybe you can help? What are your views on the state of marketing education and training, and what do you think should be done?