Step up and take in the bigger picture

There’s some tough love in this, the last issue of the decade. We’ve eschewed the easy option of filling several feature pages with a review of the year. Instead, we’ve got two features that come packed with essential advice and no little food for thought.

Louise Jack looks at the often bruising relationship between marketing and procurement (p12). We speak to marketers and procurement people who urge you to embrace the relationship and make it work for both sides – for creativity and, ultimately, for the business. Premier Foods marketing director Ciara Dilley has trained her marketing team to take responsibility for costs. She advocates training marketers in the art of negotiation with suppliers to deliver additional budget through savings. Let’s face it, that’s the sort of skill every marketer would find useful.

Dilley is one of several marketers featured in this issue that see themselves as an integral cog in the wider business strategy and people who fully understand the rest of the business. Such visionary marketers use that “bigger picture” understanding to drive growth and profitability.

That’s the exact function marketing should be performing for every company.

“Maybe 2010 will be the year that more marketers stop playing ‘the blame game’ and go for broke to fulfil the true potential of marketing”

Are you the sort of marketer that can drive your employer’s entire strategy? Can you argue a business case so compelling that your board invests in your every idea? Read our feature on visionary marketing on page 18. It is based on some new research from Prophet that reveals of 150 senior marketers and CMOs polled, an alarming 60% said the biggest barriers to them becoming so influential are not of their own making. Maybe 2010 will be the year that more marketers stop playing “the blame game” and go for broke to fulfil the true potential of marketing.

Throughout the next 12 months, Marketing Week will be on hand to bring you insight and case studies from the most senior and forward-thinking marketers around the world. We’ve also got several new products ready to launch in the early months of 2010, including something aimed directly at agencies that we think will be an instant market smash, so look out for that.

In the meantime, thank you for all the support you’ve given us this year. We’ll be back on 7 January with 2010 predictions for the industry from some of the world’s greatest brands.

Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year to you.

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