When it comes to the marketing discipline, a lot of the conversation around technology takes place in the advertising space. This is also reflected in academia, where digital marketing tools get the most emphasis. As new technologies allow for more meaningful insights from, and relationships with, consumers, the marketing discipline will continue to be at the forefront of digital disruption.
The greatest challenge universities face in teaching marketing for the digital era is the diversity of skills that students bring to the classroom. Some have taken programming courses already, others are terrified of math. Business skills will need to make software boot camps a key feature to ensure digital topics go from peripheral topic to central focus. That touches on a related issue — the cost of software licenses, as well as re-training of faculty to become skilled with these tools. Because of this, concepts like social network analytics, deep learning and artificial intelligence are only lightly covered.
At the undergraduate level, digital gets only meager coverage. These programs touch on topics like marketing analytics, digital marketing tools and ethics with an emphasis on what’s needed in the field right away. Graduate programs offer more long-term sophistication by emphasizing critical thinking and an analytical perspective that seems to offer a more future-proof education. Executive education programs are highly variable, in terms of the digital content taught.
Interestingly, the task force’s reports indicate that programs offered in Asia significantly lag behind North America and Europe when it comes to incorporating digital into marketing curricula.
This task force is currently surveying industry leaders for an assessment of future needs in the marketing area. It will then produce recommendations for the MaCuDE steering committee.
Task force leader: Neal Roese
Dr. Roese is the SC Johnson Chair in Global Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he is jointly appointed as a professor of psychology. He teaches MBA, Ph.D. and executive education audiences about the psychology of decision making, consumer behavior and brand strategy.
Dr. Roese has published more than 80 scholarly articles on research exploring biases in memory and judgment, emotion, consumer behavior, and legal decision making. His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada). He has served as a consultant on marketing research for businesses, and as an expert witness on legal cases involving intellectual property rights and hindsight bias. His insights have received media coverage from CBS News, NPR, The New York Times, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune and Harvard Business Review.