When I decided to become an academic and seriously started
thinking about doctoral studies, almost 10 years ago, I thought
research was the most creative exercise one could do. After all,
isn't it about generating new knowledge, going beyond what is
already known? Having spent some years in the marketing industry,
where I felt my daily job as a marketer was sometimes very
constrained, and not really creative after all, I thought I would
find infinite creativity in academic research.
Incidentally, I am currently in Vancouver, where the Association
for Consumer Research conference - the largest northern-American
conference dedicated to consumer research - is about to start.
Conferences like ACR are always a great occasion for meeting
colleagues from all around the world, and see the latest trends in
marketing and consumer research.
Yet, academic conferences are not the creativity forums that
they should be. I am often struck by how technical academic
research has become these days. Contributions are increasingly
small, because anything that goes beyond the mere addition of a
variable to a model hardly gets past the peer-review process. Most
importantly, many research projects seems disconnected from
Don't get me wrong; I am one of the firsts to be victim of
research conformism! By suggesting that research should be bolder,
original and more applied, I am first in the line of my criticisms.
I think consumer research and marketing need a fresh influx of
creativity, exploring topics that have not been explored before,
and trying to reach new knowledge with innovative methods.
Maybe we should introduce a journal dedicated to 'creativity
marketing' or 'new ideas in Marketing'? Could that be something for
the CMC maybe?