We were delighted to see Sir Martin Sorrell highlighting the growing influence of marketers in companies in the years ahead (MWlinks.co.uk/SorrellPower).
Marketers are uniquely positioned to help their businesses rise to the challenge of the tough economic climate but need the capabilities to do this and engage other functions in a more customer-focused agenda.
While Sorrell acknowledges significant over-capacity in many industries and the role marketing can play in helping to generate demand through brand communication, it’s important to remember the more fundamental re-evaluation needed to establish marketing functions as true business growth drivers.
Rather than limiting the role of marketers to shifting excess stock, the real longer term challenge is to find innovative ways to create products and services that customers want to buy in the first place.
This requires, in many cases, a fundamental transformation in organisational marketing capabilities. At its heart, the challenge for marketers is to generate and apply breakthrough insight as the inspiration for innovative customer propositions and to engage and align the rest of the organisation in delivering these. A challenging agenda – maybe, but an exciting one – certainly.
Mhairi McEwan, Co-founder and CEO, Brand Learning