The Toys R Us bankruptcy has pretty low-key rocked the business world, everybody from other big-box brick-and-mortar retailers, to online retailers, marketers, financial firms and banks alike, albeit for all different reasons. Long story short, the crumbling castle that began coming down with the likes of iTunes and Amazon lost a major tower this month in Toys R Us announcing bankruptcy, and it's going to highlight everything wrong with marketing education, and higher-ed as a whole in the coming 36 months.
Huh? How'd we go from the business world impacts to molding the minds of late-year teenagers? Bear with me.
The one thing that always drove me crazy in the more traditional marketing classes was sitting there, reading, discussing case studies and marketing tactics from 2, 3, 5 even as high as ten year old situations. How does a case study revolving around revolutionizing a magazine advertisement from 2012 (in a 2013-published textbook) affect me today when Facebook (in my opinion) is the leading and most effective advertising product in the world? See the disconnect yet?
Here brings me back to the issue with Toys R Us and marketing. In likely 3-5 years, students will be sitting in classrooms reading text books about back when Toys R Us used to be a store parents brought kids to buy toys, but went out of business because of factors which, if by 2020-2022 businesses aren't adopting and mastering, will have affected tens of hundreds of other businesses too.
If classrooms and thought leaders aren't promoting these issues today, making kids think about these issues today, theoretically thinking about what Toys R Us could have been doing 4-6 years ago to avoid their situation today, well then what's the point, and where will that set these kids up when they're going to graduate and go work for companies like Target and Walmart and Cabela's who will need to solve these very issues?
Now, this isn't to say all educational institutions does a poor job of this. I'm proud to be an alum of Bryant University who is consistently rated among the top-10 business schools and marketing programs in the country, with good reason. A majority of professors encourage discussions and projects revolving around issues today. But i'm confident this is the minority of most educational institutions, and without a drastic change, and soon, where will we find the marketers and thought leaders to solve these issues of tomorrow?