Apples aren’t the only brands…

Mark Ritson’s excellent article of 1 July (Marketing is more than just increasing sales) raises some important questions that marketers should be asking themselves. However, he does paint a somewhat utopian picture of what marketing should be and that doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality of the current commercial world, especially in the FMCG sector he references.

Steve Jobs: Top-down marketing

For one, the average tenure of a marketing director is 18 to 30 months, so their focus is often more tactical than strategic; second, most FMCG brand owners own their production facilities – if you have spare capacity there is pressure to fill it, as a full factory is more profitable than a half-full one; and third, channel customers have enormous influence over sales and share growth. I’ve not spoken to a marketing director who likes ongoing deep promotions, but they still play the game.

I agree with Ritson’s sentiment that this is what marketing should be, but surely it’s a case that a business needs to embrace this and not the individual functional areas? Marketing comes from the top – ask Steve Jobs.

Julian Price, Managing director, EMEA, Intelligentsia Worldwide

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