Marketing Thought

Business Schools And The Teaching Of Political Marketing

Paul Baines, an academic at Cranfield in the UK, has made the argument that business schools are not utilizing political marketing to its fullest. What do we know about business schools and the teaching of political marketing? What should they do? Why?

What Do Business Schools Teach?

Few business schools have courses on political marketing. This is despite it being a multi-million dollar sector with a massive social impact. Many of the classic examples of marketing are political. For example, think of LBJ’s Daisy commercial. Alternatively, consider Saatchi’s “Labour is not working” poster. Despite this political marketing still isn’t seen as central to the business school mission. Is this a bad thing?

Why Should Business Schools Teach Political Marketing?

Baines lists arguments why business schools should focus more on political marketing. These reasons include:

Values Led Company

Business And The Global Economy

The most interesting point is the idea that political marketing represents an extension of common macro-economics courses. These often instruct future managers in the basics of politics and the global economy. Political marketing would be an extension because of a critical difference between business and politics. [Political marketing courses] “would not assume the political environment was uncontrollable” (Baines, 2012).

Business Schools And The Teaching Of Political Marketing

One might question what would happen. Do you think the world would be a better place if business leaders were a bit less clueless about politics? Instead, they could try to influence the political world more. You can have different views on whether that is good. That said, teaching business leaders would probably be useful. Such a plan would surely help the students being taught. They will be “much better prepared for the politics of modern-day global markets” (Baines, 2012).

For more on corporate political advocacy see here. For more on business and social issues see here.

Read: Paul Baines (2012) Political marketing has lessons for business schools, FT Soapbox, November 11, 2012,

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