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A pinch of entrepeneurial fairy-dust

I hopped over to MaRS tonight after work on this, the first snowy day in Toronto I can think of in recent memory, to attend the latest in the lecture series called Entrepeneurship 101. The topic was Basics of Marketing I, and featured Peter Evans.

I must admit, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. My Communication-bred cynicism has not given me the clearest idea of what marketing is actually about. Peter’s lecture helped straighten me out on that bigtime – marketing as market analysis, market segmentation, the kind of thing that makes businesses viable and economically trustworthy.

There was a question at the end that Peter answered really well. He talked about the two aspects of marketing – one part as promotions, the “marcom” sense of marketing, and the other as product management. The second one strikes me as being a whole lot more strategic – finding niches, coming to an understanding of the customer. In startups, Peter noted, product managers are often doing the translating of customer requirements to developers. This work of product management is quite different from the “marcom” stuff, which is probably closer to the sort of thing my cynicism likes to take the piss out of when I find out that yet another Communication graduate has skipped off to do ‘market research.’ (You know I’m only saying that because I work for a big corporation and am about to graduate from Communication and will hit the real world with a boatload of work experience and still have irrational fear about my degree, right? I jest.)

I think I’ll have to keep going to these. Not only are they free and have pizza at the end, the slides are posted afterwards and they are recorded as podcasts. The only thing that kind of bites? They have some kind of URL masking going on on their website, so I can’t link to a page with a list of all their upcoming events or the page for this lecture in particular. Let me know if these links break for you:

It’s interesting to reconcile that these concepts are not Evil.

One Comment

  1. simplefulllife

    I definately like strategic planning and product marketing much more. In most industries away from consumer goods, I tend to think this kind matters more.

    Posted January 24, 2007 at 2:25 am | Permalink

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