The Interdisciplinary Nature of Marketing
When faced with a marketing challenge, different people turn to different solutions. The psychologists in the room might turn to motivational research. The social media gurus might suggest a monitoring platform. Those who are really with it, as Marshal McLuhan puts it in this interview, might turn to behavioral economics or game design. What we can learn from history and from current trends is that marketing is interdisciplinary by nature. Each of these fields holds valuable knowledge that marketers can apply, and yet none of them alone can answer all of a marketer's questions.
Because marketing should ultimately be concerned with so many aspects of the business, the profession brings a multitude of skill sets underneath its umbrella. There is very little that doesn't have a seat at the marketing table in some form or fashion. Renowned industrial designer Harmut Esslinger says, "If you don't understand business and the whole idea of economics, and ecology, and sociology, you cannot be a designer." But even design, which Harmut professes to encompass so much, is encompassed by the marketing agenda.
Even when individuals move towards a niche specialization, marketing as a profession continues to draw on an expanding set of knowledge. We need the psychologists. We need the sociologists. We need the technologists. We need the designers, and we need the behavioral economists. There are many seats at the marketing table, and we need them all to be filled.
Is it a given that a marketer is also a specialist in one of these areas? What skill set do you think is most important for marketers today and in the years to come? Let us know what you think in the comments or send us a tweet.