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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

MBA a marketing liability?

AdAge.com
Well, this is a fascinating marketing article that I came across (free subscription required).
Marketing executives from 18 underperforming companies [...] were twice as likely to have been recruited out of M.B.A. programs than marketing executives from out-performing companies [...]
It seems that the high flyin' MBA isn't as well regarded in certain professional fields. I've heard of something like this before, that MBAs are not as exclusive as they once were. That story had something to do with the high number of MBAs being churned out of China...

With regards to this article, theories are that "(u)nderperforming executives, particularly ones with M.B.A.s, spend more time filling out surveys, or are more likely to be in contact with consulting firms like the one that administered the study."

My own theory is that these MBA-types think the same way. Marketing is about promotion of a product or service. To promote effectively, the message must stand out from other messages in a crowded media-scape. To stand out prominently, the message must be out-of-the-box.

Out-of-the-box thinking is the opposite of herd thinking. MBA is herd-thinking. Therefore, an MBA is a liability to a marketer.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, further down the article:
"(M)arketers that outsource marketing-services functions the most actually have higher staffing levels than ones that outsource less."
I wonder if this applies to outsourcing in other fields as well. Singapore is big on outsourcing. Hmm, could this be a counter-intuitive way of increasing employment?

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