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A disconnect between what Marketers do and what organisations think they should do

Tracy Porter

I have often said it: “Everyone in the organisation is a brand ambassador,” “every employee owns marketing,” “the CEO is the face of the organisation” and more. Am I perhaps sending the wrong message into the organisation? Am I not fighting the marketing case strongly enough?

In essence the above is correct and true but perhaps I am supporting those who have a different meaning of what marketing is, than to those who understand how marketing contributes to firm’s performance.

Those who often misunderstand marketing think it is mainly about promotional elements of marketing, events, advertisings and dare I say it – my absolute pet peeve – corporate gifting – where loose terms of “leaving a pen behind with our logo on” is seen as a sure way to build our brand. Somewhere along the way, we confused ourselves as to what it is that marketing actually does. How did this happen?

I have often seen key people in organisations pass their working sell by date, so to speak – in either age or the ability to provide any further strategic and operational value – and they simply create a marketing position for them. Almost as if, “person without portfolio,” pushed to the side to bumble along in “marketing”.

Every organisation keen on focussing on their growth strategy needs the help of a trained, seasoned, practiced and skilled marketer who is focused on understanding the consumer with the ability to develop clear and unified plans. They need to understand how to intertwine the many tools available to deliver a unique and compelling consumer experience. Marketing is fundamentally the core of business strategy because it is about understanding the consumer and creating products and services that the target audience is willing to buy from a brand they feel emotionally connected to and willing to trust.

Many have seen marketing adding no value to the organisation and there could be a reason for this. With a skewed perception of what marketing does and hiring the wrong person for the position (who lacks knowledge or experience) – marketing will fail.

I think it’s time organisations wizened up to what marketing actually does so they can prove their worth in delivering to the organisations bottom line. The need has become more critical than ever.