University marketing courses aren’t preparing students with data skills warns Adobe boss



Marketing degrees at many Australian universities are failing to keep pace with industry demands around the areas of data, analytics and insight, Adobe’s APAC head has warned.

Australian-born Paul Robson, Asia Pacific president of the technology company, said universities need to shift their focus from the four Ps of marketing (price, product, promotion, and place) to keep pace with needs of the local market if Australia is to compete globally.

“We have we have academic institutions asking us to help them build curriculum for marketing courses in data,” Robson told Mumbrella, noting Adobe is currently working with Swinburne. “Even the educators aren’t there yet but the industry is saying we need these skills in the marketplace.”

Robson noted his own experience studying marketing at the University of Western Sydney, admitting he “probably wouldn’t have chosen to do a course that was based on data and statistics”.

But he added: “That’s not what I like and my course was about marketing, advertising, promotion, psychology etc. but marketing is moving to become a base line of data.

“We have to start educating marketers not just on consumer behaviour and branding but on analytics, data and insight – that is not a statistical course that is a marketing course.”

The senior Adobe executive warned that without those skills the Australian industry risked falling behind its global competitors.

“As someone who has come up in marketing, who has run marketing teams and now I run an organisation that sells marketing technology it is a really big change that has happened in the industry,” said Robson.

“Organisations need to accelerate their investment in employees’ professional development to close the skills gaps faster and leverage the benefits of digital.

“At the same time, universities and educational institutions need to ensure that marketing students are equipped with the skills they need to do the job today and into the future.”

Nic Christensen 


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