IN The Practice OF Management

There has long be en a debate about whether marketing should be strategic and long term or tactical and short term. However, most agree that marketing needs to own both these areas. Marketers need to show why they are essential to the strategic process and build great working relationships with their counterparts and a strong reputation within the business. This might all sound obvious, but it’s all too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Marketers cannot allow this to happen.

Already we’re seeing that corporate social responsibility, an area that has traditionally fallen within marketing’s remit, is being managed increasingly by new appointments – CSR directors. And, legal requirements to value intangibles including brand value can mean finance directors getting involved in the marketing arena. Marketers need to ensure they are positioned correctly witin the business, as the creators of long-term value, not the short-term spenders of budget.

Peter Drucker wrote, “The business enterprise has two and only two basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest costs. Today, many CEOs of major companies are frustrated over marketing’s inability to produce measurable results. Increasingly, they view their marketing department as an expense rather than an investment. While companies unabashedly wish to get closer to customers, marketing is actually losing power to other functions in the corporation.

Over the past two decades, marketing as the company’s growth engine has sputtered amid increased market fragmentation, strong global competition, product commoditisation, increasingly shorter product life cycles, skyrocketing customer expectations, and powerful channel members. A study of 545 U K companies revealed that just 18% of executives rated marketing’s strategic effectiveness in their company as better than good. A 2001 study of the FTSE 100 index firms in the UK revealed that just 13 chief executives had marketing backgrounds compared with 26 who rose through finance.

They also found that the number of CEOs from marketing backgrounds had declined over the past three years. Consequently, marketing’s share of voice at the corporate level has weakened. Research demonstrates that now only 10% of executives’ meeting time at large companies is devoted to marketing. In an annual survey of CEOs conducted by The Conference Board, nearly 700 CEOs globally were polled about the challenges facing their companies.

CEOs identified customer loyalty and retention’ as the leading management issue ahead of reducing costs, developing leaders, increasing innovation and improving stock price, among other issues. In the same survey, downward pressure on prices’ emerged as the top marketplace issue, rated ahead of challenges such as industry consolidation, access to capital and impact of the internet. The studies above clearly reveal that CEOs see their most important challenges as marketing gestion de redes sociales socials ones, but they are not sure their marketers can confront them.

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