On the Value of a Liberal Arts Education for Marketing and Sales Leadership

The best marketers that we have encountered, whether the inventor of a piece of foundation-level process automation equipment (the PLC), or an individual who took three different business ventures to independent public offerings are each characterized by a healthy, rich combination of creativity, business acumen, common sense/logic and, finally, an ability to communicate information (verbally and in writing) in a big way. It is worth looking closely at creativity and communications. We are very much of the opinion that the most promising tech business prospects will be built by a management team that features at least one key individual who can utilize creativity and communications skills successfully. It is important to emphasize, as we wrote in one of the earliest posts to this blog, tech businesses entirely driven by engineering rarely produce the type of market impact that we are after.

Admittedly, so-called creativity can be as much a product of an education in mathematics or physics as it can be the product of a course of study that emphasizes fine arts or liberal arts. One can even contend that creativity can also be learned from left side of the brain exercises like meditation practice, or yoga. Therefore, it is difficult to delineate a narrow range of educational options that will produce a proclivity for creativity. Most very early stage tech businesses with big impact potential will be driven by a CEO who provides the requisite creativity factor for the business. If the CEO can not provide the creative factor, then she/he ought to make every effort to add other members to the core management team who can deliver the required creativity. Further, it is very beneficial if the individual who provides the creative spark, who is nevertheless not the CEO, is chosen to head up marketing. After all, it is specifically in the areas of product marketing and marketing communications that creativity can be implemented to deliver high value to the growth potential for the business.

A liberal arts education and, specifically, a strong background in language arts (for businesses based in the United States the language will be English) are absolutely required for management driving marketing communications. After all, marketing communications is all about language regardless of chosen marketing media (don’t lose sight of the fact that video clips require scripts). Therefore only an individual who can demonstrate substantial dexterity with language should be chosen to head up marketing communications.

So-called “charisma”, then again, is a horse of a different color. The most charismatic entrepeneurs that we ever encountered produced charisma from very much unexpected backgrounds:

  • One was otherwise dyslexic
  • The other was clinically deaf

Therefore we cannot posit a great background for “charisma” beyond noting that we (along with lots of other people) will know it when we see it.

We are interested in staff recruitment requirements for tech businesses targeting enterprise markets. If you need to staff up with senior management and would like to discuss your needs, then please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com. We will be happy to show you why you should be thinking about the Internet and Social Media to engage with your marketplace.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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