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Published by:
Business Expert Press (2017)
Revision date:
Chapter from:
"Critical Thinking for Marketers: Learn How to Think, Not What to Think, Volume I"
14 pages


This chapter is excerpted from ‘Critical Thinking for Marketers: Learn How to Think, Not What to Think, Volume I'. Most marketers acquire the knowledge and skills of their trade by taking marketing and related courses in college followed by real-world experiences in a marketing career. Additionally, some read popular marketing books and attend marketing conferences. The primary thrust of this formal, on-the-job training and continuing education is to learn what to think. 'What are the Four P's of marketing?' 'What are the steps successful sales people follow to make the sale?' 'What does the customer want and need?' A quick search on Google using the key words 'what marketers need to know' turned up 32.7 million references. All marketing actions, whether preceded by formal or informal decision making processes, are based on what philosophers call 'arguments.' An argument is a set of related statements comprising premises and a conclusion. Ideally, premises give an audience good reasons for accepting your argument's conclusion. In marketing, these 'conclusions' are normative decisions about what an organization should do, for example, raise prices by 5 percent, add a new sales territory or, perhaps, change the marketing communications mix to invest more in digital and less in print. The premises are the rationale behind why the organization should take such actions. In conducting research prior to writing this book, the authors found many good critical thinking resources in the form of books, articles, and online critical thinking courses. They found a scarcity of resources, however, specifically created to help marketers improve their critical thinking marketing skills. In short, there is a wealth of marketing resources available to tell you what to think, but few that help marketers learn how to think. Critical Thinking for Marketers: Learn How to Think, Not What to Think provides information and guidelines on not only how to develop good arguments, but also what it means to develop a good argument. For example, the book describes two basic kinds of arguments - deductive and inductive - and how to examine whether such arguments are 'good' or not. To do this, the book explains 60 logical fallacies - or errors in reasoning - that marketers should avoid. Additionally, the authors' several 'Think Better' discussions that examine how fields such as philosophy, behavioral economics, and marketing theory have informed the principles of critical thinking in marketing.


Critical thinking; Fallacies; Logic; Logical fallacy; Marketing; Marketing research; Thinking clearly

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