Posted by: Ohh la la | August 6, 2010

Marketers get marketing!

Having had to work hard throughout my career at flying the strategic marketing flag high to ensure that my budgets didn’t get axed, I know just how important it is for marketers to show marketing leadership. After reading the excellent article published in Marketing Week by Mark Choueke “It’s time to show marketing leadership”, I feel it’s time once more to get the sword out of the stone.

The marketing industry as a whole doesn’t help itself. Marketers in general need to be far more assertive about the role the marketing function has to play, and be a lot more strategic too in their approaches and recommendations. Unfortunately the lack of understanding and support that some of them encounter is brought upon themselves by amateurish approaches and lack of clarity for instance between marketing and marketing communications.

Of course there are some outstanding marketers across the UK with the business skills required to deliver true strategic marketing approaches and able to operate in environments that enable them to spread their wings. However those industries – where their skills are used to their full and marketing is wholly integrated to the business strategy to support a truly customer centric approach – are far and few between!

Too many senior marketers either lack the assertiveness required to bring the role of their team to a head with the senior management team, or are refused a voice at board level to give marketing the pivotal role it deserves to support the strategic development of any successful organisation.

Nonetheless establishing marketing as a core function and maintaining agreed budgets needn’t be a battle. Once business leaders accept that marketing creates real £ value and plays a crucial role in securing new customers and retaining existing one, the marketing sector will get somewhere!

In the current climate where marketing is perceived as an add-on rather than an integral part of the business growth, a significant change is required on the part of marketers to:

  • Establish their function at the heart of their organisation, not as an adjunct to the commercial team;
  • Shape robust marketing strategy in a more customer centric way, selecting key markets and segments to do business in, rather than being bullied in implementing random activities;
  • Tell the business decision makers which market to go into, rather than being told;
  • Identify and demonstrate the return on investments for their activities so that the marketing function plays a greater role in taking business decisions;
  • Press for their organisation to be customer centric to deliver profitable long-term growth.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing and its members also have a crucial role to play in raising the profile of the marketing profession and spreading the philosophy of marketing … and some of the recruitment agencies out there who specialise in filling marketing vacancies would do well to review their understanding of marketing’s role to support the need for qualified marketers.

More than ever marketing should be seen as the lung of any enterprise but if we are going to change perceptions, and ensure that marketing budgets don’t get axed randomly without a real understanding of the consequences, isn’t it time for marketers to market marketing?!

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