Anthropologists who work in advertising and marketing research often make profound strategic contributions. However, many of them do not take an active part in strategy codification, specifically in the hands-on crafting of strategic documents, unless they are employed by advertising agencies as account planners or in strategy consulting firms that institutionalize the process. A concern throughout this chapter is that when anthropologists are absent throughout the process of strategy formulation, the power and influence of their contributions is curtailed. I suggest that greater participation in strategic codification will distinguish anthropologists from competitors. It will help distance us from a research-only role that marginalizes some practitioners. It will advance anthropologists’ professional careers and enlarge the influence of anthropological thinking, because as anthropologists increase our strategic involvement, we will inevitably develop a larger body of literature about how to practice strategic work and project an identity that identifies us as strategic experts. Equally important, anthropologists’ clients will be equipped to market their brands more effectively, with the happy result that marketing executives will hire even more anthropologists.
Morais, Robert. "In Pursuit of Strategy: Anthropologists in Advertising." In Handbook of Anthropology in Business, 571-587. Ed. Rita M. Denny and Patricia L. Sunderland. Abingdon: Left Coast Press, 2014.
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