On March 5th, the Gallatin Business Club (GBC) hosted three experienced and talented adjunct professors of Marketing for the panel “Making your Mark in Marketing.” George Pappachen, Russell Winer, and Rajesh Bilimoria generously shared their expertise with us.
The panel began by briefly covering the history of marketing and how the field has evolved in recent years. Previously, marketing was based on assumptions about the market, and one of the professors quoted John Wanamaker, a renowned American merchant and pioneer of marketing, to substantiate this point: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” The field has grown exponentially in importance and has undergone a “revolution” in which technology has enabled companies of all budget sizes to market their products internationally. Online marketplaces like Amazon allow for retailers from rural areas to distribute their products to international markets without substantial difficulty, a feat that would have been impossible in the past. Marketing has also become increasingly powerful as data become more granular and accessible.
GBC’s panelists stressed the relevance of marketing for everyone, whether or not they wished to enter the actual field of marketing. While marketing has become a crucial element of business, it is also relevant in everyday life situations, such as advocating for one’s argument in a discussion or debate. They made the point that today, it is increasingly important for everyone to understand how marketing shows up every day. Studies have shown that people can be exposed to as many as 4,000 advertisements in various forms on a daily basis, and most of us fail to consider how they affect us consciously and subconsciously. Professor Winer raised the point that even President Trump engages in marketing each time he tweets to the public.
Because one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is assuming why consumers will want their product, the panelists explained the importance of striking a balance between establishing strong insights and applying these insights in the real world. They suggested that budding marketers become familiar with successful products or media platforms and understand their marketing strategies’ strengths and weaknesses, or by taking on roles related to SEO and marketing in clubs, startups, nonprofits and other ventures separate from academia. For those who are interested in marketing for their startups and without access to professional marketing resources, the professors suggested taking marketing classes, collecting as much data as possible from customers, and, most importantly, think from the perspective of the consumer.
As it turns out, understanding the customer is key to both successful marketing and building a successful startup.
About the Gallatin Business Club (GBC)
The GBC is a student-run club housed at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University, focused on creating a supportive environment for student entrepreneurs and business-oriented leaders. As a reflection of the academic philosophy at Gallatin, the GBC provides students the skills and knowledge they need to start and develop their existing ventures and organizations, many of them falling outside of the conventional molds of business today. Many of our members have started high-end tech companies, created non-profit charity groups, or are interested in fostering innovative, internal change within existing companies. Learn more here.