The Academia and Industry Gap is widening in Marketing

I am working on lead generation campaign for many educational institutes for past 3 years but it only struck me now how the gap between academia and industry in marketing is widening. And while everyone talks about the rapid pace in Digital Marketing we forget that the gap is also widening at the same pace.

Once you start thinking about it, I find it quite amusing that most of these institutes rely heavily on Digital Marketing for getting students but fail to impart modern marketing knowledge to same students once they opt for marketing as their specialization. Institutes are happy following same old syllabus from 80’s and those famous successful case studies of 70’s throwing one odd infant recent case study in between. Not sure but I think they might be using terms like online marketing & social media & analytics a lot in class lectures but why not are these covered at length is something I fail to fathom. I am told few of them do offer Digital marketing as one of electives.

Isn’t academics & industry suppose to interact and complement each other? then why this divide? Center of gravity in marketing has changed long time back and it’s modern marketing, the digital way.  Why is that students are using social media in their daily lives and consuming lot of contents from brands but not aware how to use social media for marketing? Imagine the good it will do to know the entire Digital marketing landscape, tools, tactics, strategies used in industry and is a common practice now, for both students and industry he joins.

Imagine the good it will do for industry to get some fresh perspective & creative ideas of using modern marketing for their business and saving a lot of time in training people. In fact recent reports by LinkedIn suggests digital skills are the most important skills for getting hired in 2016 

To be strong job candidates, students need to understand how the lead nurturing model works, and how different types of content such as blogs, ebooks, and webinars serve different audience needs. How companies use eCRM and analytics to get more responses. How things like real time marketing is possible today.

real time marketing using twitter

( One of my slides from 147 slide PPT shared with Students explaining Real-time marketing -personal experience- work best instead of popular brands & celebs examples & how its all about speed)

Additionally, students should be familiar with the most common types of software that drive a modern digital marketing program. Many firms today require jobseekers to have experience with specific software—teaching some of these tools in-depth would give students a serious advantage. Important types of marketing software include:

  • Email marketing software
  • Social media management software and analytics
  • Google Analytics and Adwords
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Content management systems (CMS)

While internships may supply some students with experience in some of these technologies, not every student can manage or afford such internships—and technology is an ideal topic for in-depth examination in the classroom.


Ultimately, in order to serve students most successfully, many university marketing programs will have to examine how they might better keep pace with the industry itself. This might mean exploring professional partnerships with major educational organizations within the industry. On a smaller scale, it might mean reaching out to local employers and discussing the skills they require from job seekers.

Regardless of the strategy, it’s clear that many schools need to update their marketing curricula. As they continue to fall behind, students will be the ones to lose out.


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