What makes Effective Management of Marketing?

The marketing press is full of talk about Return On Investment (ROI), but frequently does not define what it means, or describe what is required to actually achieve it. Brands and their importance are another area of major discussion in marketing circles. Yet while brands may be important, little seems to be published about but how the brand consciousness of the consumer is converted to sustainable profitable revenue. Customers may all recognize the brand, know what it is and where it is, but do customers want to have and pay for it? While brands and image may be important in consumer related business, brand and image has far less importance in the business to business sector, where concerns of service, reliability and cost effectiveness tend to predominate over band and image.

Advertising, promotion, customer relationship management (CRM), are all important but what is their contribution to profitable revenue? Selling is the executive arm of marketing and arguably its most important aspect, as it is the main interface with the customer and is directly responsible for generating the revenue on which the business depends. All marketing activities are inter-dependant and collectively contribute to support sales success.

Marketers appear to concentrate on advertising, promotion, market research, and CRM, but tend to ignore selling, despite its importance, perhaps because it is generally considered that few marketers have practical experience in selling. Yet selling is the only marketing process that actually brings in revenue, whether that process is via a sales force, web-site, or direct response advertising. A recent report, “Global Sales Perceptions”, by consultants DDL Business Leadership, rated British sales staff no better than poor or fair. The report of DDL suggests that sales people are generally under valued, and under trained, yet selling is fundamental to success of every business.

In most walks of life, the only way to assess success is to compare objectives with achievements. This is particularly true in business. Business is about making profit. As the late Robert Townsend said, “If you’re not in business for fun or profit, what the hell are you doing here?” Profit is what is left when all the costs and investments involved in running a business have been subtracted from all the revenue generated by the business activity. Profit rewards the investors and provides for reinvestment to develop and sustain the business.

Marketers who are good at their own speciality, advertising, promotion, CRM, or marketing research do not necessarily make good managers of marketing.
In recent years marketers have tended to concentrate on the customer to the exclusion of everything else. Customer satisfaction is vitally important, but sustainable profitable revenue is the prime requirement of every business, and customer satisfaction is merely the means of obtaining it. Generating profitable revenue is the responsibility of the marketing function and the marketing manager. Without sustainable, profitable revenue, there is no profit, and without profit there is no business.

The job of the of the marketing manager is to balance all the marketing activities to support and maximize the generation of sustainable profitable revenue, while at the same time, minimizing the costs incurred and the use of assets involved in its production.
Many factors are required for effective marketing management. The marketer, who aspires to successful marketing management, must be able to inspire specialist marketers to develop innovative and creative ideas that collectively contribute to marketing objectives. In addition, they must be able to identify and understand causes and effects of marketing situations and to question all aspects and assumptions relating to markets and marketing. Effective marketing managers must develop structured plans with quantified objectives, make clear decisions to direct staff and allocate resources and implement effective actions.

For the marketer who aspires to senior management and a board level position, profit must no longer be the unspoken word. The aspirant marketing manager must view all the business getting and retaining activities as contributing to the generation of sustainable profitable revenue. Previous experience and specialization must not be allowed to bias necessary objectivity or decision making.

Business organizations may be considered in two parts; Business Operations and Business Support. The area of Business Operations, consists of the “business doing” functions, (Production or service provision) and the “business development” function, (marketing). The area of Business Support, provides the necessary resources for the Business Operations area, mainly finance and personnel.

Marketers must think beyond the confines of textbook definitions and see marketing as integral to the “Business Operations” that produce sustainable revenue, by satisfying customers. “Business Operations” must therefore include all the traditional marketing activities, but also those of production or service provision, as well as research and development.

When evaluating the contribution of the marketing function, its performance must be measured in terms of output and efficiency. From the business point of view, the main factors will be the amount of sustainable profitable revenue produced together with a measure of its efficiency in converting marketing costs and investment into revenue.

Effective marketing managers must be able to inspire, motivate and manage their marketing staff to achieve the required objectives, as the success or failure of the marketing function is dependent on the ability of its staff. At the same time, they must manage resources to minimize costs and maximize the production of sustainable profitable revenue, measuring performance to justify their actions and demonstrate their contribution to the business.

© N.C.Watkis, Contract Marketing Service 06 Feb 08
Contract Marketing Service, (Specialists in Measuring Marketing Performance and Return on Marketing Investment.)

February 6, 2008   Posted in: marketing management

Leave a Reply