For the past 25 years, we marketers have been cheerleaders for own demise. We bemoan our lack of influence at the Board and attribute it to not speaking the language of the Board, that is, short term financial measures. We say that we are unworthy of leadership roles because we are unaccountable, the Department of Spending. Naturally, other functional groups are only too happy to oblige us and further reduce our ability to lead strategic development.
However, business needs marketing leadership more than ever in the uncertain times ahead. With the collapse of financial engineering as a legitimate engine of sustainable profitability, we need to develop new markets and grow. In a post Brexit world, we must find new markets and take the commanding position in global supply chains to provide the jobs and income needed to sustain our economy and future well-being. Companies must renew their focus on the top line and not merely on cost and ratio management.
Marketing has a critical role to play in identifying the best market segments in which to invest and creating innovative new offers required to compete within these segments. Moreover, we need to do this in a truly global context. It is not good enough to cheer for our demise; we need to step up and provide the strategic leadership required. Marketing must lead change in their organisations to generate sustainable growth.
Fortunately, this is the best of times for marketing. New technology provides easier access to world markets, well informed customers can appreciate high value-added offers and the big data environment allows for truly scientific marketing based on profound customer insight.
Blog produced by: Professor Stan Maklan, Professor of Marketing and Technology and Programme Director of the Marketing Directors’ Programme, Cranfield School of Management.