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The Marketer's Handbook: Reassessing Marketing Techniques for Modern Business by Laurie Young

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THE USEFULNESS OF ACADEMIC WORK ON MARKETING

It is idiotic and unprofessional for marketers, in any discipline, to dismiss or ignore the work of academics. Many of their studies are thorough, relevant, applicable, and practical. Their prime contribution for the practitioner is their ability to spot trends, validate them, and crystallize their observations into general principles, concepts, and tools. Their work has saved many businesses the cost of introducing half baked schemes or mindlessly adopting the latest fad from the latest guru.

If a professional is about to test a new concept (like, say, CEM or viral marketing) and then set about building it into their organization’s processes, it is surely important to know that it hasn’t just been made up by a loudmouth with something to sell (even if that loudmouth is a member of a respected consultancy firm). If there are well calibrated research projects comprising a hundred, two hundred, or thousands of people, testing a tool that is about to be used, it is sensible to understand some of their implications.

There are problems though:

(i) Sloppiness

It is apparent that some concepts taught today have become distorted through time. One disgraceful example is the simplistic representation of Ansoff’s work and the continual reference to his diagram in a 1957 article where it does not actually appear. For the work of a PhD mathematician and respected corporate strategy professor to be so diluted is very poor. It shuts practising marketers ...

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