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Assessing your use of marketing – Part Two (Oct)

Small Businesses - don't leave it too late to ask for help

In the first part of this two-part blog we looked at why marketing had such a poor perception in many businesses. So in the second part it’s time for us to take a look at what can be done to change that perception. 

I recall reading an article written in the US in November 2014, that discussed how marketing had appeared to less accountable than some of its counterparts for decades and that as a result, CEO’s were looking elsewhere within their businesses when it came to promotion of senior exec’s. I believe this is because many corporate level marketers fail to ‘join up the dots’ and bring the need for marketing to have a close association and involvement in other areas of each business. By doing this, they keep marketing elements heavily skewed towards functional and tactical facets of the discipline, rather than really push through a strategic understanding that’s necessary for it to become totally integrated in managing the business for the long-term improvement of any customer relationship.

The more marketers are allowed, persuaded or misdirected (as I mentioned in part one), the more these types of marketing people will continue to drive funds towards ineffective campaigns.  Of course, in a large profitable business it’s easy to overlook this inefficiency and allow ’the marketing types’ to play with tactics, but in a struggling business or a business that’s perhaps more in tune with the need to ‘sync’ these efforts, this type of ‘woolly marketing’ has little or no place. Currently it’s all too easy for marketers to have a fascination with new technologies, tools, and frameworks without establishing that they’ll ever provide any consumer demand for the firm’s offerings.

Don’t get me wrong, communications are critical to the overall success of any campaign, but those communications must be driven as if everyone in the company knew what was being said in them, and what the staff at the sharp end of them knew what they were expected to provide in return. Once you can reach this point then you increase the accountability of those in marketing and in so doing significantly start to influence or even take responsibility for driving the strategic decision making process.

Unfortunately marketing will continue to have a poor perception until;-

  1. Those within the discipline understand it’s no longer any good to accept a brief from a client until that client has articulated precisely what its measurable goals are.
  2. That marketers start to accept and then promote themselves more accurately.
  3. That those already promoting themselves as ‘Strategic Marketers’ take a moment to review the synergy between what they can offer and what the client needs.
  4. That more Strategic Marketer’s press for a greater understanding of how businesses operate so that they can raise the profile, accountability and validity of their exceptional skills.

For me Strategic Marketers must do more to embrace management consultancy skills adding this on top of what they already know about a company’s customer and market needs. Until such times as these things are addressed and marketers start to work more in the area of a management consultancy role, I fear the discipline will be forever criticised for trying to be ‘all things to all men – poorly’.

If you recognise this problem and would like to discuss what I could do for you, please do get in touch by calling: 01788-815327.

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