Cranfield School of Management are repeating a study that they conducted 1 year ago amongst marketing directors. This study explores the operational and strategic priorities for marketing directors.
You can contribute to the study if you are responsible for strategic decisions click here
The previous Cranfield study from 2012 revealed that marketers priorities were around media and especially around the new fashion for social media. The writers think this is worrying and I agree. Will it be different in 2013? I suspect not.
Read the results click here
The reason for my post is to reflect on why marketers seem over preoccupied with media strategy in studies like this rather than the real growth drivers of product strategy, distribution strategy and innovation.
For as long as I have been in marketing, marketers have complained about their lack of influence at the top table. It is clear that finance, sales and operations have the power when it comes to major strategic decisions. The observations made by Cranfield in this study describe this problem. Yet then when asked about their priorities, marketers still focus is on a narrow part of growth strategy.
I have consistently noticed that the most effective growth leaders prioritise product strategy, distribution strategy and innovation ahead of media. They see media as a part of the marketing mix and often a secondary part.
As an example of this, I have recently been involved with a group at the Marketing Society who are working on a marketing manifesto that exhorts marketers to focus on business fundamentals. We also have been looking at the ways marketers build their credibility within the business so they can be more effective. The experienced marketers on this working party know that media is important but not the fundamental driver of success.
Most of the people I meet in business seem to understand this and understand what are the real growth drivers. But then this study arises and I wonder why we get these results? It remains a bit of mystery to me as to why we still see results such as are seen in this Cranfield study.
Tip of the week
I am a big user of social media. It has a role to play and you ignore it at your peril. It is true that for some new and smaller businesses they built their customers with social media, so it is a priority for them. But many businesses built their business in other channels and social media cannot deliver the reach and penetration that they need to get growth.
We all know that we don’t buy stuff because we find it in social media we buy stuff because it helps us solve a problem we have got and it is available to us and we can find it when we need it. This is why product strategy and distribution strategy are the growth drivers
Be clear on your business fundamentals. Make your priorities on the real growth drivers. they usually lie in product strategy, distribution strategy and innovation. Experiment with social media, but do not be distracted.