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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom ELVIA LOYA ENRIQUEZ A further look into the significance of writing in the marketing field


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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom


MARKETING: WRITING BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Table of Contents Introduction

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Chapter 1: A Literature Review

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Chapter 2: Genre Theory

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Chapter 3: An Interview

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Chapter 4: Proposing Change

25

Conclusion

31

Works Cited

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Creative Commons License

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom by Elvia Loya Enriquez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Introduction

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A

s a child, the neighbors could spot me knocking on doors from their windows, attempting to sell whatever item it was that I had managed to craft with my small, clumsy hands. During the summer, I would spend

countless hours coming up with a new business ideas and then executing them as best I could. It would start with a small craft that I could make on my own, even if I had yet to

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

learn how to do it. Once I knew I could make a product good enough to sell, I would make business cards and advertise to the kids in the neighborhood to no end. Once all the kids knew about my new business, I would knock on doors that seemed promising and sold my goods. I made money this way; it was not much but it was more than enough for an 8-year-old. My parents always encouraged me to continue on this path: there was nothing I loved more than selling my products for x, y and z reasons. It was truly fascinating to me to see what could move people to purchase something that they definitely did not need at the moment. As I grew up, I strayed away from marketing as a possible career, and instead toyed with ideas like microbiology and international business instead, but I could not stay away for long. My high school offered a business class in which I became very active on a district and state level. Needless to say, I have returned to pursuing my actual passion: marketing. People may hold very different perspectives on marketing; however, it is without a doubt that everyone is impacted by marketing, regardless of their opinion. Texts often explain “… marketing as an activity that is practised by all (through ‘mutually satisfying exchange relationships’) even if many people may not recognize their activity


as ‘marketing,’” (Hackely, 2003). Marketing is a field that includes actions to promote or sell a good or service, and it is everywhere, from big advertisements to small details like the size of a font. Although marketing intertwines with our daily lives both conspicuously and inconspicuously, people often disregard that marketing is not limited to any specific mean. Often, it seems that people place too much focus on the final

mean of communication that serves as the foundation of marketing. The underlying issue is that people should be educated about the importance and the type of writing that happens in marketing prior to making a decision about choosing it as a field of study. Many people start college blindly and a little confused, and while this is part of the entire college experience, having a little guidance can never hurt, especially when it comes to guidance on a major. This book is centered on the significance of writing within the field of marketing to provide students that are (potentially) majoring in

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

product of marketing, like complete television ads, and fail to realize that writing is a

marketing with additional insight. As nearly a second-year student in the Daniel’s College of Business at the University of Denver, I chose to share with you some chapters that bring to light the who, what, when, where, why and how of writing in marketing. The first chapter is formatted as a literature review. It brings up information that has been published by other authors to establish a foundation of current perspectives about writing in the field of marketing. Chapter 2 gives examples of different writing genres that students may encounter both in their college career as well as their professional career. The third chapter consists of an interview with graduate student

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Keshsa Vassant, who is working toward her master’s degree in marketing. In this chapter, Keshsa shares some of her experience as she has pursued marketing throughout her college career. Chapter 4 brings forth some issues that I believe exist in the marketing field in general, and then provides a rather feasible solution to the fixing

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

defective part of the system. This book portrays the great passion that I have for the field and provides great aid to students that are (potentially) majoring in marketing. It allows students to see the greater picture about writing in the marketing field, and faculty of the university can benefit from looking through this book to understand which areas may need improvement in the field. Overall, this book answers many questions students may have about majoring in marketing, all the while remaining a captivating piece through the variety of approaches to the different aspects of writing within marketing.


A Literature Review

In this chapter‌ Learn about the

In this perspectives and chapter‌

opinions already Learn about the published by other opinions and authors surrounding perspectives of other the writing that takes authors regarding the place within writing that takes place marketing. in the professional

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Chapter 1:

career of marketing.

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arketing heavily intertwines with writing on a regular basis, although you may not know it yet. This chapter is a literature review that will allow you to see some of the ways that writing and marketing blend together. Writing

is crucial to marketing because it is a means of communication – the principal of marketing. In this chapter, I will summarize some basic ideas that have already been published by other authors regarding the importance of writing in the marketing field,

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

some of the features of good marketing writing, and the use of rhetoric to create effective text. In today’s world, employers find communication skills to be even more important than quantitative skills (Bacon, Paul, Johnson & Conley, 2008), and it seems that even after completing four years of college, there is not a big improvement in students’ editing skills which constitute a good portion of writing skills (Bacon & Anderson, 2004). A study performed in 1985 showed that professors found marketing students to be “… inadequately prepared for marketing curricula, indicating deficiencies in communication skills, both written and verbal, and quantitative skills,” and that to this day that perception has not yet changed (Remington, Guidry, Budden & Tanner, 2000). Writing in marketing is heavily criticized because it strays away from the artistic perspective behind writing. Marketing uses writing as a mean to convey messages that are straight forward and do not seem to stray away from the “bottom line,” meaning that marketers do not value pleasure as they do business (Brown, 324). Marketing pushes to move forward, rarely taking a look back to analyze past writing in the field. The “linear rather than cyclical” structure of the field creates the illusion that marketing as a whole neglects literature and many of its components which so many other scholars embrace (Aherne 77). The most important matter in marketing is conveying the desired message clearly. This means writers in marketing should exercise brevity. Wordiness becomes an obstacle due to the limited and highly competed window of time to capture consumers


(Vass). The debate surrounding the quality of marketing writing latches on to this concept tightly; many people misinterpret the need for brevity and clarity, thinking that “… writing plain and simple is something that is plain and simple to do.” (Brown 337). Theodore Levitt, a marketer in the 1960’s, embraced the idea that messages should be brief; many of his works include bullet points that express the message concisely for the hurried reader. Levitt also exploits thick, vivid adjectives and adverbs to reach his developed than the average reader might expect, making the writing interesting at the same time. These all greatly contribute to the clarity of the message. Using strong descriptive words enhances the message conveyed in writing while also enticing the audience to read further. This is different to the complex writing written by many academics. His writing was greatly valued by readers who anxiously awaited his new pieces, proving that writing in marketing does not have to be mediocre and unwelcome. The next key component to writing in marketing is a given in writing: readers must be able to trust the writer. The writer must have credibility, which is established in several ways. The idea is simple enough, yet the execution can be somewhat tricky. The most basic and one of the most important parts about writing in marketing is using

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

audience, as well as metaphors and similes. Metaphors and similes are a tad more

proper grammar and exercising correctness. The author takes a serious risk if this rule is not followed because “Nothing loses a reader more quickly than misspelled words and or incorrect subject/verb agreement,” (Vass 16). There appears to be a disconnect in this particular area since in many colleges, mechanics are not pushed and business courses often fail to place value on the proper use of them (Bacon & Anderson, 2004). Another factor that contributes to good writing in marketing is reading continuously to help the author gain greater knowledge as well as increase the fluidity and quality of their own writing (Brown 330). Good marketing writing also often features “familiarity” for its audience (Aherne, 80). This means that instead of keeping a generic name for a store in a piece of paper, using the name of a popular store generates a sense of familiarity. An example might include using the name “Wal-Mart” instead of “grocery store.” The

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author can also exercise this through small company names, but it is mostly ideal to create a good mix of popular names, small names, and “long-forgotten favorites” such as “American Wind Engines” (Aherne 80). Writing in marketing must always revolve around the audience which the marketer wishes to reach. Effective writing in marketing requires the appropriate identification and accommodation of an audience. Despite the familiar nature of this

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

component, it is necessary to recall that this is the exact idea that makes marketing techniques either successful or unsuccessful. In 1986, the University of Northern Iowa implemented a new program dedicated to preparing its marketing majors for future writing in their careers. The program forced students to take a class tailored specifically for marketing, which assigned four different projects. Each project had its own set of directions, but all of them had directions to “… state the intended audience and purpose [of the paper], as well as the format” (Corbin & Glynn 48). The author must be aware of its audience for several reasons, including but not limited to using appropriate jargon and descriptions to effectively nab the reader. Not only does knowing and understanding the audience help the marketer reach the audience, but also it helps the writer to write with greater ease (Vass 16). Once the marketer has established the audience, the marketer must ensure the use of the appropriate genre. The key here is that genres allow for the most effective communication because they are essentially preset formats that help the author to save time (Dirk). All writers should understand that different genres call for different types of writing; imagine the methodology of an experiment in the format of the ever-familiar text message. Clearly, writing in such a way would prove to be ineffective and cause an issue. People are exposed to all sorts of marketing materials on a daily basis, and marketers must compete with each other to steal away the attention of the public. With so much competition, marketers only have a few seconds to make an impression on their audience. By understanding the audience better, the writer can actually compete in the exhausting world of advertising and sales.


It is clear that marketing and writing have a strong affiliation, and it is not the field that critics must blame for the poor quality of writing in marketing, but the professionals that lack comprehension in regards to effective writing. Writing is an important medium of communication; without it marketing would be lost. It is apparent that good writing in marketing does not fall far from the tree of good writing in general. The importance of writing in the marketing field, some of the features of good have been expressed by many professionals in the field. Writers in the field must make a conscious effort to produce quality writing in marketing because it is the basis of the exchange of ideas. Communication is the foundation of marketing. Recall that writing should be clear and relatively brief, use strong descriptive words and utilize effective similes and metaphors to most clearly express an idea. Writing in marketing must embrace the reflection and reaction to the ideas of others, all the while giving credit to those sources, all the while employing good grammar and general correctness. Lastly, writing always has an audience and its attention is highly competed, and it’s crucial that marketers remember this always. The effective use of rhetoric is highly valued in the marketing field. Following the format of a genre helps to express thoughts and ideas more clearly, and also cuts down on the time it takes to produce the writing. To

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

marketing writing, and the use of rhetoric to create effective text are all important and

conclude, marketing and writing may be two different subjects, but the overlap is inevitable; it is an inevitable intertwining of the arts and “science.� It is the obligation of marketers today to employ these basics to produce qualitative writing.

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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom


Discover the meaning of the word “genre” and how its relevance

Genre Investigation

to marketing. This section will give examples of several

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Chapter 2:

In this chapter…

genres, including: 

Email

Syllabus

Research

Marketing Plan

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he previous chapter discussed some of the key features of writing in marketing. Now that we understand the role of writing in marketing and some of the perspectives of other authors on the subject, it is time to investigate the

different genres used in the field. Genres are an essential aspect of successful writing in marketing, as the writing style, content, format, objective and exigence change from genre to genre. This chapter reviews genre theory and several important genres in

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

marketing from both the professional and college world including: the email, the syllabus, the marketing research, and the marketing plan genres.

Genre Theory Genre describes a grouping of literature

According to Kerry Dirk in her essay

with pieces that share similarities in

“Navigating Genres,� genres stem from

format and/or content. Genres are used

social action, which is the interaction

in the marketing world today because

between two parties through means of

they rely heavily on some of the same

communication (in this case the form of

concepts as rhetoric. This is not the

communication is literature). Genres

rhetoric used by evasive politicians, but

begin to develop when someone is

the rhetoric that revolves around the

driven to create a piece of writing in

idea that one must consider for whom

response to an event. This becomes the

they are writing to get a point across.

exigence which drives the objective

Genres are essentially formats that have

someone wishes to accomplish when

been pre-established in order to reach

writing. When others later create similar

an audience efficiently and effectively.

writing pieces, the previous writings are

They cut out a lot of the thinking

considered antecedents. The idea behind

necessary on behalf of the author when

antecedents is that they generally begin

writing and yet convey information

to follow a certain format, therefore

perhaps even more effectively.

creating a standard. The format may change from genre to genre depending


on a variety of factors; however, each

from the typical format within a genre is

genre generally has typified features,

rather praised since marketers encourage

meaning that they all share certain

innovation and creativity. Due to the fact that genres are used

This is not to say that often times the

often to facilitate writing, an audience

creators of artistic materials do not

will usually adapt a set of expectations

make efforts to break away from and/or

for the piece based on its genre. The

exceed the expectations of the audience.

expectations of a person that purchases

Genres in relation to the field of

a newspaper might include that the

marketing are constantly changing.

paper have a classifieds section as well

Marketing is a very “move forward”

as a sports section. Because the audience

field meaning that the fast past of the

develops expectations, writers generally

business world forces it to neglect past

make efforts to meet said expectations

work. Within marketing, breaking away

in order to keep the audience happy.

The Promotional Email Email is a medium commonly used in

inbox cluttered with all sorts of

marketing, whether its destination be on

promotional emails and receive

the screen of people in another office or

notifications for new emails several

the screen of an online customer. While

times per hour. There is a love/hate

the first is quite common, the second

relationship with these emails: they

may be more familiar. It is fair to

provide good deals from time to time

assume that the majority of people who

on items the user might like, but

browse the Internet have most likely

become a nuisance when the consumer

signed up to receive promotional emails

is not looking to make any sort of

or “newsletters” for at least a single site.

purchase. These emails, although each is

Next thing users know, they have an

unique and changes dramatically (based

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

features.

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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

on the company or group that created

entice the email user to expose

it), share several key components.

themselves to the advertisement.

The most obvious characteristic shared

A key objective in marketing is to evoke

by promotional emails is the promotion

a response from the audience, whether

itself. Promotions include deals, sales,

the response be a purchase, an increase

incentives, and much more, all meant to

in brand recognition, an increase in

target a specific audience. Some

membership and so forth. This is

promotional emails, such as newsletters

something that is strongly represented in

are not meant to sell a single product,

marketing emails. In order to evoke a

but lean more toward providing new

response, emails use different strategies.

information about an organization in

One strategy is to focus on the tone of

order to keep the customers, clients,

the email. Marketing emails vary in tone

members, etc. interested in the

based on the exigence, but the general

organization.

tone of these emails portrays

Another of the components that promotional emails share is attentiongrabbing subject lines. People are too busy today to open and read each advertisement sent to them. In fact, many people may make the decision on whether or not to open a promotional email based on the subject and the preview. For this exact reason, something to expect from an email like this is an interesting subject, numbers, and capital letters. These are basic tactics to more attention and hopefully

excitement. Marketing emails are meant to push a consumer for a response, which is often done through enthusiasm. Marketers might use positive terms such as “for you only,” “deal,” “great,” “best,” and more in hopes that the email lead to a sale, for example. Marketers also embrace and push to increase visual appeal. The purpose behind good visual appeal is to keep the consumer’s attention until the message is completely expressed. According to a study by MDG Advertising, there is a 94% total increase


in the amount of views on a website that

If an email lacks a hyperlink to the page

has more interesting images versus

that it is promoting, it could be an

pages that lack pictures.

instance of a negative break from the

common is the use of hyperlinks. Hyperlinks help the customer get to the exact part of the promotion that they see in their email without a hassle. A simple click, and the consumer is ready to browse inventory. These links are used so often, that it might even seem to be a hassle when a promotional email lacks a designated link for each part of

genre. The hyperlink is used often for convenience, which often leads consumers to feel disappointed due to their expectations from antecedent emails. However, the email genre can be changed in a positive way for a positive break from the genre. A marketer might choose to make an email interactive versus strictly use images to maintain the audience’s attention.

the problem.

The Syllabus The next genre is the typical class

question. To effectively reach their

syllabus. Syllabi are produced by

audience, professors generally include

professors to fully prepare students for

many of the same components in their

the course by laying out the

syllabi.

expectations, schedule, and rules of the course. Syllabi are produced surrounding the course information so that professors can address typical questions and concerns all at once instead of dedicating time to each student at the rise of each general

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Another component that they all have in

Syllabi often follow an outline type format because it is a great way to express information clearly, concisely, and in an organized manner. The first bit of information that is always on a syllabus is the name of the course; its

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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

description, time and location; and the

that is regularly included on a syllabus is

professor, his/her contact information

the class schedule. The class schedule

and office. Course materials is a

takes all sorts of shapes. Outlines,

common component on a syllabus as

calendars, and tables are commonly used

well. Because this information is first in

to lay out the class schedule; however,

the typical syllabus, students can gather

they all generally focus on simplicity and

the most basic information quickly.

conciseness to express the information

Following this information usually

most effectively.

comes assignments and grading. These help to clarify any doubts surrounding how students will be graded per assignment. These sections are written out in full paragraphs. Instead, this information is regularly expressed through bullet points. This is an example of how professors consider the audience, or students, when producing the document. Generally, students seek information quickly, often avoiding reading lengthy paragraphs to get basic

Professors often break away from the typical syllabus by making changes in the way that the syllabus is presented. A typical syllabus might be typed and printed on white paper, but professors can challenge the usual format by handwriting and copying the syllabus instead. There are many opportunities to make a positive break from the genre without straying too far and still effectively reaching the audience.

information. The last bit of information

Marketing Research Marketing research is constitutes a large

data from the market that will help

part of the field, and of course, is also a

towards the development of new ideas

genre in itself. The objective of this

and also understanding the market’s

particular type of writing is to collect

current perspectives on ideas. There are


many objectives in marketing research,

people share their preferences, they

two of which might be gathering

express ideas that they do not

customer feedback on purchased/used

necessarily believe (Cass).

good or service, and gathering demographics of an audience to better understand and target them.

Customer feedback follows the general structure of the survey, but makes changes to best suit its subject and audience. Customer feedback is usually

Both customer feedback and collection

post-sale, meaning that the company

of demographics are often in the form

asks a series of questions about a

of a survey. Surveys in marketing are

product or service proceeding the

usually objective; therefore, they are

transaction in order to interpret the

relatively brief, straight-forward, and

success of said product or service. The

concise. Despite the seemingly light

questions in these surveys are generally

style of surveys, they are constructed

straight-forward, and there are not too

with great care so that each question

many of them so that consumers will be

contributes to answering or shedding

more willing to spend time on the

light on the matter at hand. Additionally,

surveys. Many times surveys include

surveys are written in relatively formal

open-ended questions so that the

tones, although this does not mean that

consumer can freely express his or her

the survey questions are complex.

thoughts. In this way, marketers can

Marketers push to make questions that

look more in-depth into the reasons for

can help to gain great insight without

certain consumer responses.

being offensive or too invasive. Another characteristic often seen in marketing research surveys is the option to remain anonymous. In fact, anonymity often results in more sincere responses, due to “preference falsification,� which is when

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

products or services to reflect on the

The other research method mentioned previously, gathering demographics, is data that is collected pre-sale. It is information that is used prior to releasing a product or the advertisement

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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

because it is a tool in targeting the

Although the survey is a genre that

audience most effectively. Marketers

generally does not break away from the

always consider their target market and

typified features, some researchers are

do the best to exceed their expectations

experimenting with the genre in order to

so that their product or service can

gain better results. One way that they

succeed. Demographics is data that

are breaking away from the genre is by

relates to certain groups within a

making the surveys fun to take. “Fun�

population such as the sex, heritage, age,

usually includes more interactive

and so on. Since there are drastic

methods to take the survey or more

differences between the preferences of

image based. A negative way to break

teenagers and senior citizens, this data is

away from the genre would be to make

crucial to the success of a product or

questions more lengthy and complex

service. These surveys are more often

because the marketer is ignoring that

based solely on multiple choice. In this

consumers are unlikely to happy to take

scenario, marketers seek factual data

a dense survey.

that can easily be separated into groups, not lengthy, complex opinions.

The Marketing Plan Another very common genre in the marketingMarketing plans compile information on world is the marketing plan. Documents

factors that impact a business, helping the

formatted as marketing plans are usually a

reader to understand the current market

final product of lengthy research, which

situation for the business as well as outline

require a great deal of work. The goal of this future marketing efforts. genre is to lay out all aspects of the business on paper prior to taking action to impact the business’ current marketing structure.

Because marketing plans are meant to be clear and direct, it is atypical for there to be marketing plans that break away


marketing. With that being said, most

should include the information that is

marketing plans contain the following

essential to the business and its

features:

 

 

Executive Summary – this portion of the marketing plan is meant to establish the basic ideas and information behind the business. In any case that the reader is unable to go through the entire marketing plan, the executive summary should provide enough information about the content of the plan that the reader can still understand both the business and the aspects that impact it. Situational Analysis – this incorporates both an internal and external analysis of the business. It looks at where the business stands in the real world as well as the circumstances that are restricted to the company. SWOT Analysis – this section covers the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the business. It looks at each section individually and outlines the key information for the reader. It is similar to the situational analysis; however, this section looks at very specific details, while the situational analysis provides broader information. Objectives – the reader can expect this section to cover the firm’s main goal through the new marketing strategy. It might be aimed toward finances, customer satisfaction, brand awareness and more. Marketing Strategy – this is the foundation of the action program section of a marketing plan. The marketing strategy describes how the firm plans to meet their goal with general ideas, such as incentives, public relations, promotions, and so on. Action Program – this is the portion of the marketing plan that thoroughly explains the plan of action to be implemented. This strategy is meant to serve as the mean to meet the firm’s objective. This section should always be very detailed and specific, since it serves as the instructions for the business on how to meet its goals. Financial Forecast – this section covers the estimated costs of pursuing the plan of action that is laid out in the action program section of the market plan. It should also covers the expectations the firm should have in regards to its income based on the proposed action plan. Usually this section will include a break-even analysis, a likely future monthly income statement, and more.

Generally, marketing plans tend to be

however, it is not uncommon for the

very lengthy documents due to the fact

author(s) of the plan to include lists to

that the sections of the genre require a

provide necessary information quickly.

great deal of detail. Despite their length,

Marketers also make an effort to

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

from the genre. Every marketing plan

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consider their audience when producing

the writing as clear and as simple as

the marketing plan, and attempt to make

possible.

The purpose of genres is to save time by considering the audience and how to express information in the best possible way for that audience. Genres embrace rhetoric and are impacted greatly by several factors such as the exigence. In marketing, audiences change

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

dramatically from the classroom to the individual groups of a population. The genres in marketing are tailored to each audience in such a way that they can be the most efficient and help to enhance the developments in the field. In this chapter, it was clear that the email, syllabus, marketing research and the marketing plan genres all differed greatly. Genres are a necessary part of writing in any career, but especially marketing, which requires a broad spectrum of formats. It is important to remember that genres are constantly changing, especially in marketing, because they surround recurring events and shape the appropriate way to respond to it


An Interview

In this chapter‌ A grad student briefly shares some of her experience as a marketing major. While outlining school and professional differences, Keshsa Vassant also gives

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Chapter 3:

advice to students going into marketing.

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C

ollege is not real life and although most students recognize this fact, few truly have an understanding of the extent to which college and the real world differ. College serves as an excellent transition between living at home and entering

the real world as a self-sufficient adult, but it is an entity of its own with very specific components. These components do not always nicely transition into the real world as students might wish; however, it is without a doubt that college prepares students to

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

complete the work required by their field. However, it is often difficult to immediately see how writing is incorporated into the real world, especially in a major like marketing. The previous chapter described a variety of different genres that may be used in marketing. Naturally, one may wonder whether these are the types of writing that college prepares marketing students to do. To satisfy this curiosity, it was necessary to do some research. Instead of choosing to do secondary research by reviewing other sources, it seemed far more appropriate to seek out the personal experience and passion of a graduate student that has already begun to transition further into the real world. I met with a student pursuing a career in marketing in order to answer many of the questions students might have about writing in the marketing world. As a freshman, Keshsa Vassant had little idea, just as many freshmen, how writing would be used in her field of study. Now that she has nearly achieved her master’s degree in marketing, Keshsa has a far greater amount of insight about the requirements of the field. In regards to the types of writing that are most often used in marketing, Keshsa confirms one of the biggest doubts that students have in class: the skills taught in the classroom are both necessary and highly applicable to real life. Keshsa shares plenty of good information for younger students like myself. She discusses some of the writing that she has been required to do in marketing and how the current curriculum has helped to develop the current writing in marketing. Throughout the interview, she places great emphasis on the importance of reaching the audience, and she explains some of the challenges and changes in the style of writing in the marketing


world. Lastly, Keshsa expresses some words of wisdom for current marketing students so that we may be successful in our college and professional career. Now that she has nearly achieved her master’s in marketing, Keshsa has been exposed to all sorts of ideas and genres that exist within writing in marketing. She has had to create research-based writing and marketing plans; and perform situation analysis while considering consumer trends and clear expression of ideas. Keshsa further explains classroom; however, core writing classes are key to making writing in the field of marketing successful since they are the foundation of students’ writing skills. Many of the skills that are pushed by college writing professors, such as providing strong supporting evidence (whether it be in an info graphic, chart, table, etc. or with other factual evidence), using examples to clarify and engage the reader, and being direct and thorough, are key to writing in marketing. Conciseness is especially important, as we have seen in other chapters, since “… not many people have the time to read a lot of facts so try to get to the point without much fluff,” Keshsa emphasizes. These basic writing skills that are taught in normal writing classes also blend with the most effective ways to reach the audience in writing, whether they be board

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

that the typical marketing course briefly covers the different genres utilized in the

members of different organizations, (potential) clients, members of other organizations, co-workers, inquirers, and more. “Reaching the audience” is something that professors attempt to drill into the brains of all students; after all, what good is writing that means nothing to the reader? Imagine hearing an advertisement about dentures right now. Because people our age generally do not need dentures, the advertisement is irrelevant; it did not “reach” you as an audience. Keshsa describes the importance of considering the audience when writing in marketing, emphasizing that “… every reader has a different expectation and expects to gain something out of whatever it is that you put in front of them.” This statement puts the importance of understanding the audience into perspective. Writers in marketing and in any other field should always consider what it is

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that the reader can learn or take away from dedicating time to reading a piece of writing. This often serves as a challenge to writers, but writing in this way can dramatically change the impact of your paper. Keshsa also explains that “Considering your audience might make the difference between landing a contract with a company or not, or selling a product or not.” With this being said, considering the audience suddenly becomes one of the most important ideas behind marketing writing.

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Although writing with the audience in mind can be quite the challenge, Keshsa claims that the most challenging part of writing in marketing is the timeliness of the writing due to the constantly evolving and shifting market. Fortunately, the Internet and technology have helped to reduce some of the challenges presented by the constricted time factor she says. Writing in marketing has branched out from the traditional formats to include a format similar to that of blogs because the “… message is sent faster: in span of seconds, rather than wait[ing] to publish [a] paper which would take months,” Keshsa says. This, again, ties into making marketing writing thorough and direct: blogs tend to be relatively short and direct to keep people interested. “People do not have the time to even read two – three pages of writing and thus blogs has become more casual writing and a way of conveying the message,” she continues to explain why blogs have become ideal. This is not to say that formal papers and journals are no longer published, but blog-style writing has become a sort of mainstream reference for marketers. Lastly, Keshsa encourages marketing students to embrace numbers, exercise creativity, and push precision so that we can be successful in both our college and professional careers. She believes that these three things are key to the success of a marketer. “Marketing is not just about awareness and communications but it is about the money,” she explains. Students should be aware of the numbers that surround finances, statistics, raw data and more. They are unavoidable, so students should be prepared to work with numbers. Keshsa believes that creativity is a key part to being a writer in itself, but it is especially necessary to exercise creativity to attract and maintain the attention of


the audience. Precision helps to convey messages more effectively, especially in “… use of the right terms. Usually all marketers know what each term means but it would be easy if the author explained what they meant when they used the term.” Being precise helps the reader know how knowledgeable you are in the subject, expresses ideas more easily to your reader, and also helps to maintain your credibility as a professional. As Keshsa Vassant grew as a writer throughout her college career, her passion called college actually does prepare students to enter the adult world as strong members in in the work force through typical writing courses. Keshsa’s college experience has given her greatly prepared her in regards to the marketing field. “Writing is everywhere, and no matter what, you have to know how to do it,” she concludes. Knowing how to write includes being able to reach the audience as well as adapting to the changes and challenges that writing may present. Despite the major, students should embrace their writing courses, since many of these skills will aid in future writing.

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

for marketing grew simultaneously. Keshsa’s insight goes to show that the transition

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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom


A Proposal for Change

In this chapter‌ Learn about ways to make changes to the current curriculum to better prepare marketing students at the University of

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Chapter 4:

Denver and who might be impacted by this change.

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T

hroughout these last chapters, it has become clear that writing in the field of marketing has several components that are required to help make the writing itself successful. Keeping the writing direct and concise is a recurring theme-

this however, has proven to be one of the greatest issues in marketing writing. The actual problem lies in the lack of understanding of what it means to keep writing “sweet and simple�. The idea behind this form of writing is to make necessary information

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

immediately available, avoiding fluff, all the while keeping the audience in mind. This style may sound simple, but has resulted in a plethora of poorly written works, due to the fact that many marketers have the misconception that direct writing strays away from quality. Marketers often fail to see a difference between quality and quantity, leading them to sacrifice quantity as well as quality. In response this shortfall in the marketing field, I suggest a reform at the basic level in the marketing curriculum, to allow the inclusion of writing classes that are specifically tailored to marketing students. Of course, a reformation like this has to start with fundamentals at a basic level, so I propose that the students at the University of Denver petition the school administration to consider this modification to the current curriculum. Naturally, there are many things to consider prior to moving forward with such an idea. These topics to consider include the details of the reform itself, the stakeholders or the people who will be impacted by the change, opposing views, and the effects that the reform will have on the field. To clearly understand how people may be impacted by the change, it must first be clear which components constitute the suggested reform. The reform herein suggests generating new university classes that train marketing students to produce pieces of work that are suitable for the marketing field. Most writing classes currently offered require lengthy pieces and push students to be excessively thorough; however, the new writing classes for marketing majors will engage students to express themselves as clearly and concisely as possible to allow them to get a head start at real world communication in the marketing realm. These classes would be in addition to the typically required writing


courses as to avoid impeding any writing ability that might be discovered through typical writing courses. Due to the forward direction in the business world, people want the information that they need as quickly and easily as possible. As a student however, it is important that you do not to lose sight of the fact that you must capture and maintain the attention of said potential readers, whomever it may be for that particular piece. Therefore, classes Recall that the business world is very fast paced currently, and few people have the time or would like to take the time to sift through several pages of convoluted paragraphs. The University of Denver should be making an effort to stand alone in the field as one of the few, if any, of institutions that allow this kind of course in their regular curriculum. This reform in the curriculum would be a dramatic change because it has a great impact on many groups of people. These groups of people include those within the business community; students (who will eventually become marketers); the university administration, its respective marketing department and professors; and many other communities. All of these groups have ties to marketing and can gain from such a

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

for marketing majors will push students to find that fine line and master such abilities.

change. People in the business community are considered to be stakeholders because this is where marketers make a difference in the business world. If a change in the curriculum has an impact on the ability for marketers to communicate more efficiently, it will have an impact on the business world as a whole since marketers could be considered the first line of business. The school administration, the marketing department, professors, and students are all impacted if this change is implemented. The administration is looking at changes in budget and possibly staff, which also makes a difference to the current professors at the university. As students, we are stakeholders as well, because we are the ones who are most directly experiencing such changes; after all, the basic purpose of a university is to produce the next generation of thinkers.

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Creating new classes without a doubt is a tremendous undertaking for the University of Denver. Nevertheless, the benefits of embracing this change supersede the doubts that the reform might initially summon. Many people may argue that all quality writing should generally be complex and detailed, which makes an endeavor to create a class that is focused on the opposite seem moot. However, quality writing is not based on length; instead, the factors that contribute to quality are the ideas, individual voice,

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

word choice, organization, conventions and grammar, and fluidity (Peha). It is important that people value quality over quantity so that this new program can effectively fulfill its intended purpose. Another argument that might come forward is that clearly expressing yourself with minimal text is not actually a challenge. However, the restrictions on length may make it difficult to express complex ideas with enough depth to create a clear understanding between the author and the audience. This is something that undoubtedly needs to be taught. Additionally, skeptics may argue that the class is not worth the investment, but since marketing impacts anyone that is exposed to something like an advertisement, it is best that marketers are trained at the root of their career to be successful, simply for the pleasure and appropriate responses of the public. There are too many people that are impacted by the marketers in the business world for this problem to continue unattended. As detailed in this argument, many people are clearly impacted by such a curriculum reform; it is this writer’s opinion that creating a new class to train marketing students to produce effective writing in their field is the most reasonable solution to diminish the vast amounts of poor quality writing produced by many marketers. This new class can help to educate marketers when they are still in the stage of learning about their profession. It has been seen time and time again that it is most efficient to teach something from a blank slate rather than attempting to break old habits learned from a flawed system. Habits are hard to break simply because our brains have a tendency to make things “automatic� (Goudreau). It is also a more financially feasible change because marketers, are already required to attend college and pay tuition to cover writing


classes that do not effectively teach marketing writing. If these individuals do not take such a course at the university level, they might later be forced to invest even more money on an alternative, such as taking a course after college so that they might acquire such necessary skills. Instead of placing students into typical “cookie-cutter” writing courses that do not focus specifically on integrated marketing skills, the administration should make it so that students can take writing classes tailored to marketing students

Whether or not the quality of writing in marketing is a big concern in our world, it is without a doubt these skills have a great impact on all sorts of communities across the world. Today, writing in marketing faces the challenges of restricted length and short attention spans, although ideas may be far more complex than just one page, billboard, or commercial. Writing “short and sweet” is a challenge that marketers face, which leads to a grand amount of poor quality pieces in the field. The plain solution is to teach this style in writing classes that are specifically tailored to the needs of marketing majors at the University of Denver. This new program would be ideal for teaching marketers proficiency in writing in the field early on and during our college career, as to avoid additional costs and also the need to break old

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

during the college career.

habits. It is time that marketers and other majors alike join together to petition the University of Denver to make this change. The reach of this issue is too large to go unnoticed. Do your part as a marketing student and join the cause. More information regarding student petitions can be found at http://www.law.du.edu/forms/petitions/

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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom


In this chapter‌ Put together main ideas brought forward throughout this book.

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Conclusion

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E

veryone knows that nothing is perfect, and despite of the passion that I have for marketing as a field of study and as a profession since a young age, I cannot negate that the current curriculum may have some defects. In this

book, many different ideas have been brought forth. As you recall, Chapter 1 is a literature review that is meant to establish a foundation of background knowledge about the current situation surrounding writing in marketing. Chapter 2 describes some of the

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

genres that exist within the field, while Chapter 3 consists of relaying information from a marketing graduate student, Keshsa Vassant. Lastly, Chapter 4 is meant to suggest a solution to the minor holes in the marketing curriculum at the University of Denver. While these are a lot of topics, there remain multiple concepts that overlap throughout that help to create a tie that unites the individual chapters. One of the ideas that consistently appears in this book is the idea that concise writing is key. Another of the ideas that seems to overlap often is that writing is the foundation of marketing because it can be a final product on its own as well as serve as a tool to develop another product. The third important idea expressed in several chapters of this book is that many people are impacted by the marketing curriculum in universities; the impact is not limited to members of the university’s community. All of the chapters emphasize that writing must be concise. Chapter 1, being a literature review, is the first to bring forth the idea that writing must be “sweet and simple.� In this chapter, multiple authors make this point in their writing, despite the genre of their writing. Immediately following this chapter, Chapter 2 introduces some of the different genres that appear in the field. We see that conciseness can be effective in both emails (regardless of the recipients) and also in syllabi. Keshsa Vassant describes how blog-style writing has become ideal in our ever-changing world due to its short and direct style in the chapter that follows. Lastly, Chapter 4 touches on this by identifying the problem in the curriculum: many people misunderstand the need for short writing, downgrading the quality of writing overall.


We easily see the repetition of the importance of writing in all of the chapters. Chapter 1, 2, 3, and 4 all emphasize the importance of writing, but each in their own way. Chapter 1 touches on how the most effective writing in marketing is generally executed, while Chapter 2 hones in on specific types of writing that are important to marketing as a field. In Chapter 3, Keshsa lightly expresses how professional writing is far different from that which is required by the University, but crucial nonetheless. the University needs to change in order to best suit the type of writing that is done in the field. This chapter presents writing as a main concern in the curriculum, so much so that changes should be made to the current curriculum; the current curriculum simply does not satisfy the writing standards held by the professional marketing world. The last recurring theme throughout this book is that there are many more people than (potential) marketers and members of university communities are impacted by the writing that takes place within marketing. Chapter 1 introduces this idea when revealing the extent to which writing in marketing reaches out to different audiences. In Chapter 1, I presented a variety of sources that revealed the power of writing to be far more expansive than we perceive since so many people are exposed to marketing on a

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

Chapter 4 discusses the importance of writing in marketing and how the curriculum at

regular basis. Like I said before, nothing is perfect. Despite my bias, this book is not the exception. Regardless, I am hoping that as a reader there were several things that you can take away from this lengthy piece. The first is that although the style of writing that is necessary in one field may drastically differ from that which is required by another field, writing is important no matter which you choose. This book is not meant to be a complete informational document to update students on what to expect throughout their entire college and professional career; however, it should serve as a basic foundation to aid students in understanding their work as (potential) marketing majors. It also allows students to look further ahead into the field and decide whether some of the concepts

33


presented, as well as the writing styles, truly suit them. Marketing remains my passion today just as it was 11 years ago. Although it may not be for everyone, you now have a relatively clear idea about the significance of writing in marketing, as well as a vague idea

Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

of what the major holds in store for its students.


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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom


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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom

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Pope-Ruark, Rebecca. "Challenging the Necessity of Organizational Community for Rhetorical Genre Use: Community and Genre in the Work of Integrated Marketing Communication Agency Writers." Business Communication Quarterly June 2008: 185-94.Academic Search Complete. Web. 04 Apr. 2014. Stephen Brown (2004) Writing Marketing: The Clause That Refreshes,Journal of Marketing

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Management, 20:3-4, 321-342, DOI: 10.1362/026725704323080434 Sunstein, Cass R. "How People Lie About Gay Sex and Homophobia." BloombergView.com. Bloomberg L.P., 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 26 May 2014. Wass, Kathy. "Effective Marketing And Sales Begin With Good Writing." Textile World 157.6 (2007): 16. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.


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Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom


Marketing: Writing Beyond the Classroom


Marketing writing beyond the classroom