Do to others what you want them to do to you

28 Jan 2018

Marketing Research Areas

Quite sometime back, a colleague once asked (jokingly, I should add), why does marketing have so many modules? All you need is one Marketing module.

I didn't know whether to laugh or to be annoyed. However, I later found out that despite it's importance, marketing is often looked down by academics in other fields. The problem is that they associate marketing with only one thing - selling/ promotion/ advertising.

In fact, we are probably the only discipline which links directly to the most important factor in business - the customer.

That's why I always joke (though it is the reality): you can have a great engineering team, a great HR team, the best accountants and finance people, the best managers. However, if you don't have a good marketing team, you are done for because no customers means no jobs, no accounting, and of course no managers.

Anyway, if you have always wondered what Marketing is all about, take a look at the various tracks at the UK's Academy of Marketing Conference 2018.

  1. Arts and Heritage
  2. B2B Marketing
  3. Brand, Identity and Corporate Reputation
  4. Consumer Psychology and Cross-Cultural Research
  5. Consumer Behaviour
  6. Consumer Culture Theory
  7. Critical Marketing
  8. Entrepreneurial and Small Business Marketing
  9. E-Marketing and Digital Marketing
  10. Ethics and Marketing
  11. Fashion Marketing and Consumption
  12. International Marketing
  13. Marketing Case Studies
  14. Marketing Communications
  15. Marketing Education
  16. Marketing of Higher Education
  17. Marketing Research and Methodology
  18. Marketing Segmentation and Target Marketing Strategy
  19. Non-Profit and Social Marketing
  20. Place Marketing and Branding
  21. Political Marketing
  22. Retail Marketing
  23. Services and Customer Relationship Marketing
  24. Sports and Events Marketing
  25. Strategic Marketing
  26. Sustainability
  27. Tourism Marketing
Yes, that's a total of 27 different tracks. 

10 Jan 2018

Marketing our research papers

I am an active member on Quora.com and I saw a very interesting question: "Do you think academic researchers should market their papers to create wider reach for the work?"

I wanted to share it with the audience on my blog as well. I have edited the answer a bit.

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA, 2012) marketing refers to: 
"the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large."
According to a study in 2007, half of academic papers are read only by their authors, referees and journal editors. I guess we academics have ourselves to blame as we tend to focus largely on the theoretical contributions and also limit the discussions mostly within the academic community.
However, changes in the way our Key Performance Indices (KPIs) are measured and funders disperse their money, have slowly resulted in changes in the way we view and carry out research as well. Most educational institutions of higher learning which have a research focus as well as funders, now require you to show the “impact” of the research. This impact includes evidence on how the results were circulated on mass media, implementation by industry or target audiences, etc.
The main issue is that many academics are not media savvy and do not really know how to market their research. Many researchers feel uneasy with promoting themselves. One Professor told me, "Your research should speak for itself". However, as indicated earlier, this may not be as straightforward if only 3 people read your research. Moreover, researchers tend to move on to the next project once they end the previous one - happy that they have a conference proceeding or two and a journal paper from the research and then move on to the next one. Again this is due to pressure from institutions to churn out research papers regularly to meet KPIs, University rankings and quality certifications.
Coming back to the definition of marketing in this context, we can market our research by looking at how we can create value from our research. We also need to be media savvy and should reach out to the general public. 
Thankfully, I can see that many of us are now active on social media and sharing our research and knowledge with everyone who cares to listen and we are also finding out what people think about our research. Engaging and collaborating with organisations (including NGOs, Governments and Corporates), allows us to fine tune our research to meet and satisfy specific needs and requirements.
Hopefully, this will increase the reach of our research.