Teaching marketing to non-marketers: some experiences from New Zealand and the United Kingdom

2018-07-24T10:00:04Z (GMT) by Jim Crick
Purpose – This paper explores how marketing can be taught to students originating from non-marketing or non-business backgrounds (non -marketers), so that academics can engage such students in lectures and tutorials. Design/methodology/approach – The research design involved a qualitative methodology using data from two undergraduate marketing courses (one in New Zealand and one in the United Kingdom) that contained a large proportion of non-marketing students. Data were collected from a combination of empirical and archival sources and were analysed using self reflection techniques, alongside other checks for methodological credibility. Findings – When teaching marketing to non-marketing students, it is important to integrate theory with practice to help their learning (e.g., through practical case studies). Marketing educators must also maximise their interactivity with their students and have in-class discussions to engage the cohort. Further, lecturers and tutors should relate marketing theories and concepts with non-business subjects, to demonstrate the subject’s relevance to students with limited commercial knowledge. These teaching and learning strategies were important for students intending to become entrepreneurs after graduating from university, as well as those planning to enter paid employment. Originality/value – Prior studies have focused on teaching marketing to specialist marketing students; however, they have scarcely considered how educators can teach non-specialist marketing to students with non-marketing and non-business backgrounds. This viewpoint solves this research problem, by discussing the best ways that academics can maximise such students’ engagement. It is proposed that the main way that non -marketers can be engaged is through linking marketing with their subjects -of-origin, to demonstrate how marketing activities apply to all organisations and should not be overlooked. A framework is presented, based on the empirical data, to help academics teach marketing to non-marketers. This paper ends with some directions for future research.