Journal: Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 25, p. 271–295, 2007
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
International Standard Numbers:
Open Access: none
Purpose – This paper sets out to identify the knowledge and skills that marketing practitioners need
to possess and use, to improve marketing management and firm performance.
Design/methodology/approach – The data from a survey of marketing managers, academics and
senior students in New Zealand, relating to the skills essential to work as a marketing manager, were
analysed by analysis of variance to assess the extent of convergences or divergence among the
responses of the three groups.
Findings – The essential skills are an ability and willingness to learn about product-markets, to
solve marketing problems, to communicate with internal and external stakeholders, and to work in
teams, plus the knowledge of a wide range of marketing subject areas needed to set these skills in
context. To progress from junior to senior posts, marketing graduates need to develop strategic
thinking, leadership and management skills, and must demonstrate knowledge of strategic planning,
product and brand management, communication and promotion, and consumer behaviour.
Research limitations/implications – This study extends previous research by incorporating the
views of three stakeholder groups about a broad range of knowledge and skills. Further, research is
required to assess the generalisability of the results from these relatively small samples located in only
one institution (albeit large and influential), and to investigate whether experience alone is a sufficient
basis for junior marketers to acquire the knowledge and skills to become effective marketing managers
and planners, or whether academics should help them to fast-track their careers by means of targeted
courses for intending practitioners.
Practical implications – Broad agreement between practitioners and academics suggests that
relevant knowledge and skills are probably being taught. However, the differing view of students
suggests that the effectiveness of university courses must be questioned.
Originality/value – The study reports the opinions of three stakeholder groups on a vital aspect of
Keywords Knowledge management, Skills, Abilities, Education, Marketing management
Paper type Research paper