A good marketer has to be a great planner

I was intrigued to read that one of our high street banks will be selling its customer data to other businesses. Closer inspection of the story revealed this to be a typical sensationalist headline and the reality is that it will simply be using its vast knowledge of a significant proportion of the population to amalgamate data to help others better target their products.

Secret Marketer

Now this is interesting on two counts. First, at a time when the retail banking sector’s reputation is at an all-time low, is the bank in question wise to take such a PR risk by embarking on such a plan? And second, the fact that it wasn’t doing this already.

I started my career at a retail bank. In those days, bankers were regarded as just as arrogant and short-sighted as they are today. When I was there, we simultaneously introduced ATMs in the walls of branches as a way to cut queues inside the branch, and launched the sale of pensions and life products over the counter. We were surprised when counter-clerks failed to cross-sell as many of these new products as we’d predicted in the business case.

The flaw in our plan – by moving transactions outside to the ATM there was no one to cross-sell to – wasn’t picked up. Why? Because the two decisions were taken by two different silos. In my current business our marketing plan clearly spells out all the initiatives we are doing and when. We insist on a business case for every activity – that in turn requires sign-off from both the business and marketing leadership teams, and we have a weekly summary email of all the marketing initiatives we have delivered that week and are planning for the weeks ahead. Although my team moan about completing these, the discipline it brings and the awareness we achieve in the wider business of what we are doing, is incredible. We are able to spot ‘car crashes’ before they happen, and it helps to demonstrate our value to the business. 

Good marketer have to be great planners and fantastic project managers. Above all, they need to be world-class communicators. I’m amazed that one of the most revered brands in the world would forget these basic principles.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here