The marketers respond

Click here to read the cover feature: Grim view of marketers across the board
Click here to read what other board directors really think of marketers

Philip Price, head of brand marketing, P&O Cruises

Most marketing departments are now leaner and wiser than they were two years ago. A contributing factor to this is the increased involvement of finance in our business.

In gaining an insight into the real effectiveness of what we do and understanding its commercial effects, we now work more closely with our financial analysts than ever before.

This includes end-of-month reporting to planning investment against the future booking curve for P&O. It’s more work, but making marketing more accountable is not a bad thing.

Marc Sands, director, Tate Media and Audiences, and former marketing director, Guardian News and Media

Everyone in the boardroom has an opinion on marketing. Few have an opinion on personnel, and most of them don’t understand finance. So that is one issue: everyone thinks they can do it.

The question should not be whether marketing directors are worth their salt. All organisations over the past 10 or 20 years have become more marketing-focused, so in that sense you’d argue there is progress.

The impact of marketing over the past 20 years has been staggering, such as in the ways companies put consumers closer to the centre of an organisation. And that has got to be good news.

Mark Bloxham, marketing director, Teletext Holidays

It is vital to explain strategic marketing plans to all senior people, whether that is the chief executive, finance director or chief technology officer, so that they understand it and you can make sure it matches corporate objectives.

Analyses and full campaign integration are the only ways to combat naivety on ROI. Delivery to the bottom line is about segregating activity in terms of what it is going to achieve, and then aligning the whole [marketing] programme to deliver bottom line growth.

I have experienced some extremely senior non-marketing people in certain industries around a boardroom table making wild statements such as “we should be on Twitter or that social media stuff” or “can we just not do paid search?” I remember the onset of the web, ecommerce, paid search, SEO and social media, and as a function have championed it, and delivered sound reasons for using particular channels.

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