Time for marketing to make stand

I was not surprised by your Leader and article by Alan Mitchell (MW September 25) concerning the poor rating for the marketing profession given by City analysts and investors. There are a number of reasons for this.

Marketing consultancy, which should spearhead the industry offering impartial advice without vested interest, has been swallowed up by the large accountancy conglomerates. The effect has been to place marketing in a subsidiary role. Far too often today business plans consist solely of number-crunching without any supporting evidence showing from where additional sales will be forthcoming, how they will be achieved and, more importantly, the likelihood of gaining a worthwhile market share.

If investors are prepared to take numbers at their face value it is no small wonder that the City has little regard for marketing.

The Marketing Society, the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Marketing Council seem unable to project themselves in the corridors of power. At the top end they are all too low key. The fact that none of them has been able to convince the City of the crucial part which marketing can play in industry speaks for itself. When did we last see a leading article in a national newspaper promoting marketing as a business function in its own right?

Marketing can never become a profession unless it can unshackle itself from the vested interest which it has with the advertising industry. The huge wastage of expenditure within the advertising industry is a case in point. The client who you could say deserves what they get is always vulnerable to advice which is so closely linked to commission. Unfortunately, the word marketing has become homogeneous with other industries in which there is also vested interest such as direct marketing. What is needed is a new name which embraces all parts of the marketing mix. Then we might be in a position for the City to take note.

Having run my own marketing consultancy for the past 30 years following 14 years in practical marketing management for agency and client, I am quite convinced the whole of the marketing industry needs a complete shake-up before the City can take it seriously.

PCR Wynne-James

Managing director

MPC & Associates


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