How much does doing marketing in Italy count, that is, studying at the best universities and then continuing to grow and learn with appropriate professional experience? Professor Michele Costabile, full professor of marketing at LUISS and director of the new master’s degree program in Marketing, has worked on this topic, and over the course of an analysis conducted with Professor Fabio Ancarani at the University of Bologna, has demonstrated that Italy offers a special cultural context that provides distinctive skills in this professional field.
"The success of companies made in Italy and of marketing managers that operate in Italy are not coincidences, but rather the result of several specific characteristics of our country," says the director of the master’s degree program in marketing at LUISS. The work of the two professors uses a series of case studies that are particularly relevant to marketing done in Italy; the cases studied in depth during the drafting of three manuals on marketing management. "We have investigated the elements that are emblematic of numerous cases using an innovative semantic analysis platform, capable of working on large amounts of data (i.e., big data). Then we integrated this analysis with a survey that involved more than 50 professionals in the sector."
The various sources show that the specificity of Italian marketing is attributable to factors such as "the attention given to the technical excellence of the product, in line with the spirit and the centuries-old manufacturing history of our country. Attention and care towards the product, accompanying an extraordinary capacity for interaction with customers, which really means an ability to listen and understand their specific needs; a capability that explains Italian supremacy in the world of unique products such as mega yachts."
The categories that emerged from the survey that best represent Italian marketing are creativity, aesthetic sensitivity, the ability to tap into the variety of local traditions, and thinkering, understood as "an experimental approach to management, or the ability to make people aware that they have to improve step by step." The survey was conducted by asking respondents what they had in mind when thinking about marketing designed and produced in Italy. "We asked closed-ended questions that called for an evaluation of six key words with different degrees of importance: sense and aesthetic sensitivity, empathy and adaptive flexibility, meticulous attention to detail, creative destruction in marketing processes, humanistic content of marketing and interaction processes and, last but not least, thinkering."
Commenting on the results of this analysis, Professor Costabile argues that studying and working in our country offers great opportunities to acquire "unique skills that will allow talented young people and businesses that know how to best utilize these skills to drive their advancement in the global arena. An arena full of complexity and uncertainties that can’t easily be categorized or summarized, to be managed with a sound and thorough systematic preparation, combined with specific managerial abilities. The Italian context strengthens these abilities, as can be seen by the presence of so many of our graduates at the top of the biggest and most famous companies in the world.”