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The changing face of marketing academia: What can we learn from commercial market research and practitioners?

Tapp, Alan



This commentary was stimulated by two things. First, the apparently growing concerns within marketing academia with the gap between academia and practice. Throughout Europe academics are expressing the need to link their work closely with practitioners, yet there is little sign of urgency from those who influence research output. Second, the opportunities for changing academic practices illustrated by cultural changes taking place in commercial market research. Market researchers now approach their task differently: to begin with they are adopting a more relaxed attitude to their methodologies. Eclecticism and bricolage are the new vogue. They have become much more focused on what their internal customers want: help in making decisions. The change of name from market research to customer insight is but one symptom of this re‐evaluation. This commentary questions the existing cultures of academic marketing research and publication, and asks what lessons we can learn from commercial market research. The paper concludes that applied marketing academics need to adopt a different set of priorities in comparison to their classical marketing colleagues. Commercial market researchers and applied academics share a requirement to make their research accessible, engaging and even actionable. There is little overt acknowledgement of this at present, and until this changes, the current academic cultural norms may erect barriers to our messages getting across.


Tapp, A. (2004). The changing face of marketing academia: What can we learn from commercial market research and practitioners?. European Journal of Marketing, 38(5/6), 492-499.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2004
Journal European Journal of Marketing
Print ISSN 0309-0566
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 5/6
Pages 492-499
Keywords academic staff, market research, marketing information
Public URL
Publisher URL