Learning the Profession of Marketing

by Martin Russell on June 22, 2013



My Life in Advertising

One of the problems with having a medical degree is that it took up 22 years of my life, and I have no idea what I would have become if I had used a big chunk of those 22 years some other way.

Now I do marketing as a ‘profession’ I see that no one is ever told in school, “You should be a marketer.”

I doubt they are often told, “You should be in sales”, or even “You should run your own business.”

I didn’t end up here because it was expected of me – certainly not!

And I can certainly say that I have had to ‘unlearn’ quite a bit since I left my formal education behind.

So I when I finally got around to reading a marketing classic, “My Life in Advertising”, but Claude Hopkins I was fascinated to read this quote from one of the all time great marketers writing back in 1927…

Once a man brought me from a great technical school their course in advertising, and asked me how to improve it. When I read it I said: “Burn it. You have no right to occupy a young man’s most impressive years, most precious years, with rot like that. If he spends four years to learn such theories, he will spend a dozen years to unlearn them. Then he will be so far behind in the race that he will never attempt to catch up.”

So maybe almost a century later, there isn’t much difference in education after all.

How do you want to learn?

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