The conundrum of marketing for the business world

March 8, 2017

The biggest single roadblock to optimum profits, organisational immortality and economic buoyancy is the toxic predicament of the world’s perception of ‘marketing’.

And it is spawned and nurtured by those who perceive themselves as marketing professionals.

Think about this: Someone starts off in a junior role, putting some effort into sales admin, advertising development, promotional activity, and is charming and charismatic. They then work their way up in the job and are perceived, by lay people, as being the ‘marketing’ person in their company. They grow, understand operations, their industry, learn by mistakes, sometimes prospering despite doing half-baked jobs, and making less-than-perfect decisions or implementation. They, themselves, inadequately trained, educated or both, are unaware of quite how little they understand the science of ‘marketing’… believing their experience defines the professional, and deeply offended at any suggestion that their knowledge bank could be less than perfect.

20 years later they are entitled ‘marketing director and still don’t ignore the difference between strategy and operations… perceiving tactics as strategy, substituting the word ‘marketing’ as a synonym for ‘promotions’ and floundering when they ultimately have to take on a modified or new challenge that needs highly skilled strategic knowledge.

Then, since ‘likes’ employ people “just like me”: They recruit, mentor and train, and the devolution continues as they fuel the cascade down, or downward spiral, and ‘marketing’ plummets towards the dark ages.

For me, Marketing takes a lifetime to learn and can never be mastered, but it is surprising how executives with 3-5 years in marketing roles and almost no academic specialists training, insist they know ‘it all’. (How do executives without extensive marketing study actually convince themselves that they are universally expert at marketing and can afford to dismiss unheard opinion that contradicts their own?)

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