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Marketing academics and practitioners: who does what?

A book was recently published on the kids’ marketing by a marketing researcher (Coralie Damay) and a marketing manager (Sylvie Grassmann). This book was promoted in the June issue of Marketing Magazine, a French magazine targeted at managers, under the form of a 4-page crossed interview of both authors.

Basically I find it a great idea to combine a managerial perspective and an academic perspective when writing a marketing book. Advantages are obvious. Rather than looking only at one face of the coin (either the scientific aspects or the managerial perspective) such a common work certainly allows to enrich the insights offered to the reader.

I was however annoyed by a sentence by Sylvie Grassmann early in the interview:

It seemed interesting to us to have a crossed perspective on this subject with, on the one side the perspective of a theorist (Coralie Damay) and, on the other side, the perspective of a marketing specialist (Sylvie Grassmann).

I find that Sylvie Grassmann overestimates her role.

Marketing is a Science the aim of which is to orientate the company’s strategy in order to create value for the consumers. This value-creation process is deeply anchored in the understanding of the consumer’s behavior. I tend to think that Coralie Damay understands better the antecedents and leviers of this behavior than Sylvie Grassmann does. The latter probably focuses her action on how to leverage and use those leviers within the company for commercial purposes.

My take:

I don’t want to start a long explanation on the role of theory within today’s marketing research perspectives. My point is just that this very sentence should have been reformulated the following way:

It seemed interesting to us to have a crossed perspective on this subject with, on the one side the perspective of a marketing specialist (Coralie Damay) and, on the other side, the perspective of a practitioner (Sylvie Grassmann).

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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