Last Friday I wrote about our speaking engagement at Loyola University. The post generated what I think is some of the most interesting discussion on this blog. I'd like to share some of the thoughts as they deserve to exist outside of the comments area, but before doing so—here's a question (and answer):
What if we all live in our own bubbles? Each and every last one of us. We're not omnipotent beings—we are restricted by the boundaries of our own humanity. In short, we can only know as much as we can absorb. And in this age of information, there is a lot to absorb. Too much actually.
Our bubbles reflect what we know, don't know and what we need to know. If we claim to be marketers, advertisers, designers, public relations or communications professionals—we must take it upon ourselves to fully comprehend the significance of a lone consumer who takes on a huge company with nothing more than a blog and tape recorder. We must make the effort to search out these stories on a daily basis, especially when they are reported by mainstream media (or not). We must study, and learn from them. We must learn from each other.
WE ARE ALL STUDENTS
Teachers, professors, authors, managers, thought leaders, bloggers etc. can all help us learn. But making sure your personal bubble is where it needs to be is up to you, the individual.
[Stepping down from Soapbox now]
Enjoy the comments.
"School is, was and--unless the teaching profession wakes up and starts
embracing change even if it threatens their jobs--will always be
insular and inward looking. Theory, over practice."
"I'm so surprised that a bunch of college students are better versed in
theory and buzzwords than in real world examples. On the other hand,
these kids are at (or at least near) the epicenter of the content
creation movement, so maybe it is surprising after all - not because
they should be learning about it in their marketing course but because
they should be living it."
"It was not till I got outside and graduated that my eyes were opened to this whole new world. "
"Do you believe we are victims of our own myopia?"
"I can't tell you how many times I talk to agency marketers who have never heard of these 'classic' power consumer moments."
"Professors need to get beyond the security of their assigned readings and add new books and articles to their selections for every new class. And then discussions need to center on what is happening in today's marketing world."
"As I speak to other marketers, and even clients at big-name companies, they are so busy with their own plans they are really not aware of social media. It seems like a no-brainer to many of us because we spend time tracking (or engaging in) it. My typical clients still don't even have it on their radar screen."
"When I was teaching business courses on the undergrad level, every student had to go out and locate a busines, and it's owner, or manager, or C-level person, to link up with once a week, every week"
"Personally, I have learned a lot more practical knowledge through blogs, social media, open source sharing, etc. than I have from most of my courses. The classes provide a foundation, but unless you actively engage in building upon that foundation, it all seems somewhat useless. It’s like pouring concrete to start a house and then never returning to continue construction."
"Schools must change. Embrace Non-textbooks as a reliable learning tools. Create "new-marketing" classes. Have classes dedicated to blogs. Have marketing speakers on a weekly basis."
"I think professors aught to have a list of at least 10-20 marketing/biz blogs that students should be reading daily. If the concern on reading a blog is too much, start them off with Seth's "Small Is The New Big." Let them think out of the box with Wozniak's book about design."
"My students are given reading lists equivalent to 'No one got fired for recommending Microsoft': the dead hand of academe looms large, and there is more emphasis on correct bibliographic referencing than on imagination or even relevance."
"Remember how at your Digitas NY prez only like 3 people (in interactive) knew who Seth Godin is? Yep, we live in a bubble."
"I've met with many high-profile marketing executives over the past few
months and I can assure you that you would be surprised by their narrow
marketing - and marketplace - knowledge, and hence, perspectives. They
are simply way too busy with their own "marketing bubbles" to care."
"I did a presentation to an advertising class at a large university last November...In a show of hands no one in the class knew who lonelygirl15 was and when I stated talking about Second Life the looks I got were priceless."
"I just started regularly reading several trend-watching, news-sharing, marketing, and advertising blogs this year and it's really helped me to think more creatively. I only wish I would have started sooner..."
"I think this whole issue isn't about: "I can't believe you haven't heard of X."
It's all about: "I can't believe you haven't TRIED to hear about X."