Marketing investment is the trend to follow

Ruth Mortimer

Imagine having an extra £100m to spend on your marketing. That’s the real-life situation for executives at Reckitt Benckiser, which has announced it will now spend that amount on developing its core “power brands” in its growth markets.

The marketing investment trend does not stop there. Coca-Cola is making organisational cuts in order to reinvest up to $650m in annual costs by the end of 2015. Rival Pepsi is doing the same. Chief executive Indra Nooyi has also confessed to an under-investment in marketing its brands and promised an extra $500m for the cause.

When the world’s biggest companies talk about marketing as the growth driver in their businesses, other organisations need to ensure they are doing the same. This is the world’s global corporate leaders saying that marketing is the most powerful and necessary route to growth.

The sentiment that marketing is a growth tool – not a cost – is one we echo at Marketing Week. Of course good marketing involves spending money, but it simply doesn’t work to retrench and cut costs year after year with no investment in growth. Even if the economy contracts, marketing helps stimulate sales.

The sentiment that marketing is a growth tool – not a cost – is one we echo at Marketing Week

With this in mind, we are also investing at Marketing Week. We have refreshed our website to better address the needs of our own customers. The refresh comes after we conducted research to ask our customers what they wanted from the Marketing Week brand online.

Our users told us they want a simpler experience that gives them access to more content than ever before. They want to see in-depth content that will help them convince the rest of the organisation to invest in marketing.

This theme of investment is one that I expect to see come up again and again this year. Aside from the website, we are continuing the investment in our people here at Marketing Week. After three years as associate editor, I am proud to take on the role of editor at this exciting time. My colleague Branwell Johnson has also been promoted to deputy editor.

My belief in the importance of good marketing has been constant throughout my career. I’ve kept up with the trends in all areas of the discipline by authoring five books on how to practise marketing in the popular Dummies series. I also sit on a board advising book publisher Kogan Page on its marketing titles.

I’ve also written for great consumer brands like Channel 4 and formerly edited Brand Strategy magazine, where I persuaded global business leaders like Bill Gates to write for us about his vision of marketing.

All this experience has convinced me that marketing is vital for organisational growth. It’s good to see that Reckitt Benckiser, Coca-Cola and Pepsi agree and are putting the process in place to ensure that they keep moving forwards in 2012. We at Marketing Week will definitely be doing the same.

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