The event was to launch a campaign to boost the reputation of the marketing function amongst the financial community in “The City”. The society has asked Nicola Horlick to spearhead this campaign for free.
She is clearly enthused about the idea that marketing drives growth and is fundamental to profitable success. It was fascinating to hear this from a successful fund manager. What was particularly interesting though was to learn from 24 CMO’s and senior marketers at the event how they saw the current reputation of marketers and what could be done to improve it.
You can read a summary of this on the Marketing Society blog.
Please feel free to contact me to find out what was discussed.
Things do seem to have moved forward a bit. The CMO’s reported situations from quite a broad spectrum. Some reported investors and financial directors having too much faith in marketing! (When we did our research, we found patient tolerance of marketing was about the best that could be expected) .
Some CMO’s described a more balanced situation, where marketing is recognised as necessary but not always appreciated. There also remain financial directors who struggle to see the justification for many marketing activities. Where marketing is well regarded it often has broader responsibilities including influence over product development and profit accountability. Where marketing is more marginalised, it can be confined to marketing communications.
But it seems our original insights remain true.
- Marketers are highly regarded for their ideas and creativity, but can lack strategic and commercial credibility. Marketers can be seen as spending too much time talking with themselves and their agencies and not enough time learning from and convincing the business.
- Successful and influential marketers make a disproportionate effort to communicate with the whole of the business. They do it more frequently. They use business language not marketing speak.
- Many of the most highly regarded marketers are not marketing specialists, but business leaders and entrepreneurs with a full commercial approach. e.g. Stelios, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson,
- At the heart of these successful leaders is powerful customer insight, often not drawn from market research but by talking with people.
- Marketers must work at creating quantifiable measures to assess effectiveness. These measures must be accepted by the business.
There was one thought that came up time and time again.
“Successful marketing teams talk with the wider business team more often than less successful marketing teams”
This is because these discussions develop marketers credibility and help them learn more about the customer and the business capabilities as a result.
We have more detail on our original research, the Marketing Society lessons and other published research Contact us to get some reports
We have a Marketing Influence programme to help your marketing team to understand this and adapt their behaviour. Contact us to discuss a complimentary session with you and your team.