Thursday, 29 July 2010

What makes marketing successful?

Having ruminated on whether business should employ marketers at all, it seems only fair to consider the people who are responsible for building great brands, and great profits. What makes a great marketer, and what do they do to enable their businesses to succeed and prosper?

A couple of marketing leaders, interviewed for Marketing Week, talk about what it takes to succeed with marketing:
Being ruthlessly focused on the consumer and making money at the end of it” – Tim Hawley, Global Marketing Director, Bacardi
World-class marketing is nearly always based on insight, whether it be from structured research, knowledge within the department or visits to the field” – Phil Chapman, Group Marketing Director, Kerry Foods. He goes on to say “To be a great marketer, you have to be comfortable with both the art and the science of your job. Marketing is about being logical and structured, but also allowing yourself to be completely creative.”
You have to remind people, and institutionalise the fact, that they must connect directly and regularly with consumers” – Helen Lewis, Consumer Insight and Marketing Strategy Director, Unilever
Marketing Week has this week published an article “The steps you must take to become a marketing leader” and stresses the importance of creating a vision:
Build belief in a clear vision of market opportunity based on a deep
understanding of potential customer needs
.”
Marketing’s role in a business is driven by the people who work in the business. Employing people who are analytical and market-savvy doesn’t happen by accident; such people are in demand. It has to start with a belief that a market-led strategy will succeed. Then the people, the data, and the vision can be assembled.

Of course the marketing people quoted here are working for some of the world’s most market-led companies, with budgets to match. But I doubt budget is the defining factor – I suggest it is attitude of mind. Anyone can (and I have) get out there and interview people about what they think: it costs nothing. Anyone can analyse their own customer data to inform their marketing strategy. Where there is a will, there is always a way.

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