olga van saane

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What better teaching and better marketing have in common?

I've heard Jeniffer Louden recently saying that "Some of the world’s most masterful marketers are, first and foremost, master teachers ". It echoes Dan Mayer's statement here at TED: "I teach high school math. I sell a product to a market that doesn't want it but is forced by law to buy it."
I see a strong point here, and it made me wonder what qualities marketers and teachers have in common, to assist them being better at what they do.
I appreciate your share, looking forward to hearing your opinion.

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      Sep 17 2011: a true teacher gives the most knowledge to others is still true for me.
      the one primal thing i know is cause and effect
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        Sep 17 2011: This is fascinating Benny! I would say the one thing that confuses me most in human interaction is how difficult it is to follow cause and effect!
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    Sep 17 2011: Sales people learn to 'sell' the benefits of a product rather than the product itself to help people realize what the product will do for them. Great marketing always paints the picture of a better and more complete life that would be obtained once a person owns the product- you will not only have whiter teeth, shiner hair , better tasting breath but you will be loved and wanted by the person of your dreams and be more popular than ever! As many senses as possible are involved in good marketing. At its core though marketing is often about 'closing the sale' or enriching the seller at the buyer's expense in the case of unneeded products.

    Yes, great teachers may naturally do what great marketers do in some respects but I am a bit queasy about the idea of turning teachers into marketers. I have an MBA in marketing and I will likely teach as time goes on. I want to encourage people with the benefits of an education and use all the senses I can to make the learning real but I also want to set minds on fire with the joy of simply finding out. I will have no trouble trumpeting the benefits of learning how to learn, of critical thinking of writing clearly but at the end of the day I think teaching can and should have a purity that marketing may never have. Many institutions of higher learning are already marketing to students and parents. Teaching should be about the learner first and foremost.
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    Sep 17 2011: Understanding reciepients need / want/motive then communicating effectively.
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    Sep 17 2011: An effective teacher does not simply motivate students, she empowers them to do things they never could before. Likewise, an effective marketer demonstrates to prospective clients how their product or service will empower them.

    Knowledge is power. Power sells.
  • Sep 17 2011: Marketers convince people why they need a certain service or product. Great teachers do the same thing; they can convince their students that the material they are learning will benefit them. If the teacher can address the "why" in students' perceptions, then they can teach them anything. Both teachers and marketers must know more than their content, or product. They must know why their audience needs it and model how they can use or apply that content/ product.
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    Sep 17 2011: You all have good points, you really do.
    I've been thinking... at school I loved maths - because of the teacher who taught it.
    She was absolutely great. She knew my name not from a register, she looked me in the eye, when talking to me, her eyes were always smiling, she was curious about my opinion and she really listened to my feedback, - I mean she reacted, deliberated. She was very strict at times, but also great fun. When she used to come into the classroom, it felt like she didn't come to push the topic into our heads, - she came to discuss with us why would this topic make sense to us. That's why I liked her and her subject. Same probably with all the rest of my class. We were raving fans of maths. When the teacher left, I stopped loving maths - with a new teacher it was nothing but boring.

    So, I am saying that personality is important, in both professions: a better teacher and a better marketer. What I said above about a teacher - this could be said, word for word, about a good marketer. If you want people to love your "subject" - you better be passionate about it, be interested in your audience and love what you do as the daily routine. You fake yours - you lose it. You ignore my personality ( as your student, or your customer) - you lose me. You recognize me, you make me a focus - you win.

    How to do it - another big thing in common: knowledge of psychology and sociology is a must for both professions.

    Also, a better teacher is always prepared: audience profile, message, ways to deliver, strategy, and a plan B. To me, the same counts for a better marketer...

    I think it would be interesting to have a couple of case studies of successfull marketing compaigns from this point of view.
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    Sep 17 2011: maybe because marketers give knowledge to lots of people...for free...even if its just 'lifes good' on your LG monitor. most of my old teachers didn't wanna tell me what they knew instead they wanted to tell me what to think..okay some were fun though.
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    Sep 16 2011: I see marketing often as persuading people of a particular point of view- that a particular product will meet the needs of a customer to whom the marketer wants to sell. There would often not be any focus on representing other options in an even-handed and unbiased light.While teaching includes explaining to students the importance of the content at hand, good teaching is not fundamentally about selling one argument.Teaching and marketing do share the requirement that the professional at the helm can communicate in a way that the audience will understand. In teaching the teacher often has the opportunity, and needs the skill, to address students' needs and to communicate with students individually. In marketing there is sometimes this opportunity, but in many cases, the face-to-face, one-on-one aspect is not part of the equation. Teachers often have more of the student's time and attention than marketers do to convey their messages.
  • Sep 16 2011: Devono essere credibili, saper "entusiasmare", coinvolgere, conquistare chi ascolta: un buon insegnante non insegna...svela! Instilla curiosità, desiderio, attrae.
    Così un marketer uomo di mercato
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    Sep 18 2011: Bullshittery is the hallmark of both. Tell a fine story. The truth is dull. Embellish.

    Is it the end that justifies the means..?
  • Sep 17 2011: Someone once said that good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.

    Marketing is very much the same.