Whatever happened to the learning culture?

As I recall the vast majority of Marketing Society members are clients, agency people and consultants of various sorts.

This is a plea to all of you:

  • To clients, not to become so caught up in your busy lives that you stop learning about the world outside your brands and your market place. You have a career to think about, and future employers and partners will be impressed by wide experience and wide knowledge, over and above what skills are transferable from what you were doing last
  • To agency folk, not to dedicate yourselves exclusively to knowing about the brands you are working on, and other people’s brands that you are pitching for
  • To consultants, not to risk running on empty. The consulting canvas that has served you well for the last few years probably needs refreshing, and if you have been successful as an adviser on a, b and c; who knows how well you could do in future, having expanded your remit to include e, f and g
  • To all of you, not to resent me pointing this out

Why do I say this?

There are two main reasons. First, there can never have been a time when the juxtaposition of academia and the practice of marketing has produced such a cornucopia of new scholarship, new insights, and new theories. I am a glutton for new papers and new books on a wealth of subjects from neuromarketing to how creativity impacts differently in social media as compared to conventional channels. The sheer profusion of new knowledge dazzles and bewilders like the breakfast buffet in a five star resort!

Secondly, I am staggered at the apparent lack of interest in all this from so many of the clever, well educated, high earning people I meet around our industry.

If you are one of the glorious minority, my entreaty is not aimed at you. But do me a favour, and take up the cause of campaigning to reactivate a learning culture. We used not to know too much about how marketing and communications really work. Now there’s no excuse. And the more we know, the more successful we will be.

Then there’s the fun of it all –  working in a quite fascinating business that embraces philosophy, psychology, neurology, technology, and lots more besides. The next time you are sitting in a meeting that is going nowhere, bored and frustrated, remember that there IS something you can do about it. Go Googling, and just see how many new things you can learn in a week!


This is David’s March blog for the Marketing Society https://www.marketingsociety.com/the-library/whatever-happened-learning-culture