Shouldn’t a marketing professional be trained in marketing?

7 Ps of marketing on whiteboard

Before anyone is declared proficient in marketing, shouldn't they first need to learn the discipline. You need a qualification to be qualified. It’s a reasonable prerequisite, is it not? If someone is touting themselves as an expert in the discipline of marketing, you would expect them to have a qualification in the subject.

The reality is that the professional marketer makes money, whereas the amateur marketer spends money.

If someone sent you a list of the 24 leading experts in brain surgery or law, you would expect all of the names on the list to have a formal education in the subject matter in question. Why not marketing?

Recently a tweet featuring a grid of 24 headshots and the message, “24 Marketers you Should Follow on Twitter” was posted to Twitter. Despite their billing as leading experts in marketing, only FOUR have any formal education in the subject.

Now that’s not to say the other 20 aren’t intelligent people; it’s just that they don’t have any formal training in the subject they are professing to be proficient in.

A high percentage of self-proclaimed marketing experts are, in reality, experts in just one small area of marketing – social media communications. They sell it using a variety of different job titles like “Social Media Strategic Marketer”, “Content Marketer”, and “Digital Marketing Manager” but this is only the promotional slice of the marketing mix which is only about 10% of the marketing discipline.

Despite them billing themselves as general marketing professionals, the new breed of “marketing experts” are light on market orientation, research, segmentation, positioning, brand equity, strategy and all the other fundamental knowledge that makes up the remaining 90% of marketing, once you take the promotional P out of marketing.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, “overall employment of professionally qualified marketing managers is projected to grow by 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Consumer behaviour, market research & analytics, brand reputation, and marketing campaigns will continue to be essential for businesses in the quest to maintain and expand their share of the market.”

It makes sense to want to do more all by yourself – to preserve your budget instead of spending it on such services. You may think DIY marketing is a cheaper option, but it could cost you far more in the long run, which is why successful businesses of all kinds still employ professionals or experts.

Marketing is a complex discipline that involves different strategies to establish a brand presence, improve visibility and engage prospective consumers resulting in increased revenue. Business owners need to invest time and money into marketing if they want to stay ahead of the game and stand apart from the competition. A good marketing strategy developed by a qualified professional will help your businesses grow and enjoy more success.

By Deborah Ievers PGrad MSc (Marketing) AASc (Business Management)

Recipient of the 2018 Griffith University Award for Excellence

Professional member of the Australian Marketing Institute