The Top 5 marketing MBA progams: Their take on content marketing Live

By Chris Huston

It's up to academia to keep up with such trends and find effective ways to pass along their real-world applications to students. But even the best academic institutions find this to be a challenge.

With that in mind, we reached out to faculty and staff at the top five marketing MBA programs, and asked them where content marketing fits into their world view. 



1. The Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.

Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management is No. 1 for marketing MBAs 
by chris.huston

Founded in 1908 and based just outside of Chicago, Kellogg is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and some of the best and brightest MBA students from around the world. Its slogan is "Think Bravely." According to the MBA website PoetsandQuantsthere is "no other school in the world with a stronger reputation in the field of marketing." 

Kellogg professor Bobby Calder's research focuses on the analysis of consumer behavior, media consumption and marketing strategy. His foray into content marketing has led him to take part in a recent Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the subject.

"There’s a need for a new marketing paradigm, one that involves new and exciting technology," Calder told BricksmeetsClicks. "Content marketing will play a big role in this. One way that’s gaining traction is for marketers to develop content – interesting stories that engage consumers without making them feel like they’re reading an ad."


2. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

Wharton focuses on methodologies to better measure consumer preferences
(Photo: SFGate.com
by chris.huston

Wharton began teaching and researching marketing before much of the field even existed, initiating courses in 1909 in what was then known as "merchandising." A focus on methodologies to better measure preferences and anticipate what people want -- for instance, this methodology forecasting tree developed by Wharton professor J. Scott Armstrong --  has long been a hallmark of the department. 

Professor Jonah Berger sees content marketing as vital to Wharton's approach. 

"Content marketing is a great way to generate awareness around products, services, or ideas without selling them directly," he said. "If done right, it can serve as a Trojan Horse that carries company’s competencies or ideas along for the ride."


3. Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Harvard created the world's first MBA program in 1908 
by chris.huston

Harvard established the world's first MBA program in 1908 and inaugurated the case method as its primary teaching approach in 1924. Each day at HBS begins with one question: "What will you do?"

According to HBS marketing professor John Deighton, “Harvard Business School faculty members have been writing cases on content marketing for the past four or five years, starting with the Ford Fiesta’s use of Fiesta Agents, followed by a case on Demand Media and one focusing on Coke on Facebook.  All this activity is in keeping with the school’s case-method, close-to-practice pedagogy, which introduces students to leading-edge marketing practices by bringing them into the classroom and letting the students decide what to make of them.”


4. Judge Business School, University of Oxford, Oxford, England

Oxford's Judge School has come a long way in the MBA world since 1990
(Photo: Brandyou.info)
by chris.huston

Cambridge's Judge Business School was established in 1990 under the name of the Judge Institute of Management Studies as a focus for management teaching and research in the university. The school's goal is to combine the latest thinking from academia and professional practice, and that includes a focus on content marketing.

"Building a strong brand has been the primary strategic asset for firms, and therefore using content marketing to build a strong brand is becoming a key component of a firm's marketing strategy," said Judge spokeswoman Lina Valaityte. "We want students to understand how to best market such innovations, which are vital for a firm's enduring success."


5. INSEAD Business School, Fountainbleu, France

INSEAD's international flavor makes it a true business school for the world
by chris.huston

With campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, INSEAD’s business education and research spans three continents. Its students conduct cutting edge research and innovate across all programs to provide business leaders with the knowledge and sensitivity to operate anywhere. No wonder INSEAD calls itself "The Business School for the World."

"Content marketing is key and it is a central element of my course," said INSEAD assistant professor David Dubois. "As such, students in my course have the opportunity to create a viral video after we discuss the kind of message features and context characteristics that engineer virality." 

Dubois expounded further on content marketing in a recent article he wrote for INSEAD's online magazine Knowledge called "Content Strategy is King in Social Media".

The field of content marketing might be relatively new, but top marketing programs such as the ones listed here are addressing it head on. That's a good thing, since students will need a more complete understanding of how marketing works if they're going to meet the needs of the world's leading brands in the years to come.

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