Leadership & Digital Marketing

According to legendary economist Peter Drucker, a business has two – and only two – functions: innovation and marketing.

“[…] Because it is its purpose to create a customer, any business enterprise has two – and only these two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. They are the entrepreneurial functions. Marketing is the distinguishing, the unique function of the business.” (Peter Drucker (1954) The Practice of Management)

However, the realities of marketing look very different in most businesses. All too often, marketing is seen as being synonymous with marketing communication, used to support the implementation of business models and business strategies marketing managers had only a minor role in formulating.

This is a fatal mistake for businesses, because competition no longer takes place merely in product features or advertising pressure, but throughout the entire customer experience. Ideally, marketing would be predestined to coordinate and inspire the design of all points of contact throughout the business by creatively assuming a customer mindset. However, this requires marketing managers not only to handle communication and, perhaps, product management, but to be involved in all aspects of marketing, right through to the business model. As a professional field, marketing has primarily attracted people who want to develop creative campaigns and branding strategies in the past. This is and will continue to be an important skill and responsibility. But it’s no longer enough. Businesses need marketing specialists who think entrepreneurially and see themselves as drivers of market-driven innovation at the level of business models, technologies and processes.

Our marketing courses are specifically designed to train students in strategic thinking in an environment that is complex, constantly changing and driven from one hype to the next. They help students develop an understanding of how strategies are intelligently and contextually translated into modern marketing measures and how changes in technology and the media landscape influence strategies – such as artificial intelligence automation or new forms of interaction, like conversational interfaces à la Alexa, Siri and Google Home.

In terms of research, our primary focus is on marketing professionals themselves: What kinds of responsibilities fall under the heading of marketing in practice? What skills do marketing teams have and what skills do they want to expand upon? Our field studies reveal the actual and target situation in terms of the gaps between everyday marketing – to safeguard the future of both companies and careers in marketing.