Andrew Baxter aims to bridge the gap between uni and marketing industry

Former Publicis chairman says universities need to build better ties with industry or risk becoming irrelevant

Andrew Baxter
Andrew Baxter

Universities are at risk of becoming completely irrelevant to the marketing profession unless they start ramping up engagement with the sector – and quickly, the University of Sydney’s latest adjunct professor of marketing claims.

Former Publicis chairman and Ogilvy CEO, Andrew Baxter, has joined the tertiary institution this month as an adjunct professor of marketing, and is tasked with establishing a stronger dialogue between the University of Sydney Business School and the marketing industry.

It’s a role Baxter is holding alongside his appointment to KPMG Australia as a senior advisor for its Customer, Brand and Marketing Advisory business, as well as a non-executive directorship with Australian Pork.

Baxter is a well-known name in the marketing sphere. During his career, he has worked with a host of iconic Australian companies and brands in the retail, FMCG, sports and entertainment, automotive, banking and finance, gaming, tourism and travel, education and government sectors. His emphasis has been on branding, marketing, digital transformation, data, communications and customer experience.

With the amount of change experienced in marketing over the last 10 years, it’s vital the tertiary education approach gets a rethink, Baxter said.

“Now more than ever, universities need to understand industry best practice in order to remain relevant,” he said. “Students need to learn the latest techniques from the sector itself.”

The University of Sydney Business School professor, Vince Mitchell, said it was important the education provider engages top talent if students are to be job ready when they graduate.

“Technology has transformed the industry in recent years with a shift in focus away from traditional media and towards highly targeted digital platforms,” professor Mitchell said. He also expected Baxter would lift the profile of the school and encourage the marketing sector to work with the school around further research.

“Industry has been successfully utilising the University’s significant research capabilities in the likes of medicine and science for many years, but the Business School’s research skills haven’t been tapped into at the same level by the marketing industry,” professor Mitchell continued.

“This appointment will help us to future proof our students by blending the very best of what the industry and academia have to offer.”

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