So What is Marketing?

Over the past couple of years I have had the opportunity to examine how many employers categorise the role of marketing within their businesses and in many cases the role of marketing staff seems to be very loosely defined.  In fact, it appears that many employers have no clear idea of the role marketing plays in their business or the skills needed when creating marketing plans and strategies.

Here are a few examples of how some companies define marketing incorrectly.

One company advertised for a marketing officer but when reading the job description it was clear that the role was that of a sales representative. Another advertised for a marketer to design and maintain their website.  A third asked for a qualified marketer to use graphic design software to create their sales catalogue.  Together with the Chartered Institute of Marketing I despair at such widespread misunderstanding of the role of marketers in businesses.

Even where a firm appears to understand the role of marketing in their business, many do not appropriately value the role of marketers.  I remember one job advertisement which correctly summarised the role of a marketing officer but which completely underestimated the value of that person within their organisation.  The job was for a staff member to manage the company’s marketing strategy, to control the company’s customer relationship management and to manage the promotion of the company’s services.  Given the level of responsibility of the above described role, you would expect it to be a senior position within the company and to attract a significant salary.  This job however was part-time and offered a salary of little more than the minimum wage!

Clearly, graphic design, sales and website maintenance are linked skills to the marketing element within a firm but they are not core skills of a marketing officer.  It is also clear that marketing within any organisation which ‘sells’ its products or services would see marketing as a core business activity controlled by a senior board member.  Unfortunately in the UK this is often not the case.

Marketing is closely linked to business planning and the monitoring of targets.  It is the strategic role which monitors the relationship between an organisation and its client base.  It should be at the centre of any business’s strategic planning and not seen as a luxury or secondary role.

It is noticeable that business’s which are regularly highlighted as top performers place great importance on the role of their marketing team.  Those that have troubled track records often place marketing as a lower priority.

Philmus Consulting can help your business to place marketing at its centre and to use strategic planning to best utilise its strengths.