managing marketing people

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managing marketing people
2005 Market Segmentation 2.qxp
8/7/05
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Page 1
The Chartered Institute of Marketing
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© The Chartered Institute of Marketing 2005
Issue No. 8, July 2005
IN/109
A Tale of Two Disciplines:
Managing Marketing People
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Contents
“
What’s hot in marketing?
“Marketing at its most sublime combines the
artistic skills of a Rembrandt or a Shakespeare
with the analytical skills of a Keynes”
Managing
Marketing
People
Is marketing an art or a science? The debate has been
04 -14
going on for years and the jury is still a long way from
returning. A successful marketer is required to possess
a complex set of skills, be these the ability to think
David Thorp
Marketing
Innovation
Manager
logically and analytically in order to guide strategic
development, or the need to demonstrate empathy in
order to build effective and meaningful communications.
But where do these polymaths come from? Our Agenda
Paper this quarter suggests that in order to maintain a
supply of marketers able to span both worlds
comfortably we need to look carefully at the way we
Hot courses
Hot reads
16 -17
18-20
Hot knowledge
the marketer
CIM membership
21
22
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develop and then manage marketers.
To ensure that the next generation of marketers is up to
the increasingly complex task it faces “A Tale of Two
Disciplines” urges that we pay close attention to
nurturing the skills that will help marketing become the
motive force behind 21st Century commerce, guided by
skilled practitioners with a unique blend of skills and
personal attributes.
Visit www.shapetheagenda.com for more information
”
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Managing
Marketing People
Managing
Marketing People
A Tale of Two Disciplines:
Managing Marketing People
Executive Summary
An effective marketing department requires a strategic mindset,
familiarity with measurement techniques and an understanding of how
marketing can contribute to bottom line growth. It needs these qualities
in addition to a creative attitude that can inspire effective
communications, foster innovation, and connect emotionally as well as
intellectually with the customer.
But marketing is often perceived as a creative industry – not one in
which there are significant elements of number-crunching, analytical
and technical skill. As a consequence, marketing often recruits
imaginative people who are then ill-equipped and ill-prepared to engage
with the scientific side of the job.
This is not to deny that marketing requires creative input. And not
everyone sees the profession as purely creative. But there is a
perception that this is the case and it is this perception that is causing
problems. Marketing is often seen as the soft end of business, widely
regarded as one of the more dispensable elements of the company, and
often not fully appreciated by other departments.
And, just as we need to act to change this perception, the level of
scientific emphasis that is required of marketers is escalating rapidly.
Marketers are working in an environment that is increasingly bound by
regulations, is more technological and is more meticulously measured.
As a result, marketers need to have the scientific skills to operate
effectively in this more sophisticated environment, and this means that
the nature of the job is becoming as scientific as it is creative.
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How can we manage marketing people successfully when there is an
increasing dichotomy between the artistic and scientific elements of
marketing?
The answer lies in changing the way we train and manage marketers.
As the balance between art and science becomes more even, the
profession needs to widen the net from which it recruits. Key to this is
to communicate the fact that marketing has a strong scientific
component, thus encouraging more scientifically-minded people to
become marketers. And for creative people, it is important to
emphasise the significant scientific aspect of the job which they need
to embrace, not shy away from.
The result will be a blend of art and science that leads to more
effective, dynamic marketers – and a greater appreciation of the role of
the department from the rest of the organisation and the outside world.
ONE
Art versus science
Marketing is largely perceived as a creative industry. Figures published
by Research International show that advertising and promotion are far
and away seen as the primary functions of the marketing department
by other employees and managers. [Source: Davison, L. (2004)
Marketing in the Spotlight: what people really think of marketing.
Research International 17th March. Available from :
http://www.research-int.com/library/library.asp?id=505
(Accessed on: 25th May 2005)]
But there is more to marketing than communications and advertising. It
is partly a science, and partly an art. There are few disciplines that
require both a creative imagination as well as familiarity with statistics
and number-crunching. As a consequence, the challenges of managing
marketing people are somewhat different to those in other professions.
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Managing
Marketing People
The danger of having predominantly creative people in roles that require
a synthesis of creativity and rigour is that it leads to many of the
problems facing marketing departments today: a perception that little
meaningful measurement takes place. There is little understanding on
the part of shareholders, and even some directors, of how marketing
creates value and can influence bottom line profit. This can be
compounded by the lack of motivation of an employee working in a job
for which they are only partly suited. All this adds up to marketing not
getting the credit, nor the results, it could. The end result is that
marketing is perceived in some quarters as the non-rigorous, “fluffy”
end of business.
Managing
Marketing People
serious about bringing a strategic and customer focused approach to
business (whether profit making or not) they cannot expect to be taken
seriously if they cannot read and interpret Profit and Loss accounts and
balance sheets.’ This is not to say that marketers are expected to do
the accountant’s job. ‘But they must be able to understand the financial
implications for the organisation of the decisions they make.’
[Source: Correspondence with Insights, April 2005].
The complexities of marketing as a profession are significantly greater
than is often considered. A marketer now needs a broad grasp of
technology, a degree of technical skill, awareness of how to use data
(and how not to use it), an understanding of scientific principles,
substantial management skills and, on top of all this, needs to be a
creative, innovative thinker. Increasingly, marketing is formed by legal
boundaries – but to be a good marketer you have to be imaginative,
provocative and intuitive.
As things stand, marketing as a profession is occupied by a disparate
collection of individuals ranging from free-wheeling imaginists at one
extreme, to psychologists or mathematicians who have ended up in
marketing by chance at the other. Along the way are academics who
have another agenda – to make marketing more academically
respectable.
In the future, a more scientific approach to marketing must be
developed and implemented. We either need to recruit more scientists,
or accept that marketing training with a more scientific slant needs to
be given. ‘The science argument should be central,’ says Juanita
Cockton, Managing Director of The Marketing Studio. ‘If marketers are
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Marketers must be able to understand the financial implications for the organisation of the
decisions they make.
Visit www.shapetheagenda.com for more information
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Managing
Marketing People
TWO
Learning by doing
Professor Malcolm McDonald agrees that the problem ‘is the assumption
that marketing is essentially a promotional/creative role rather than a
strategy-making role, which is what is wrong with the whole discipline.’
[Source: Correspondence with Insights, April 2005]. Strategic planning
does not rely on creative talents as much as on knowledge of the
existing marketplace and on the ability to see gaps and opportunities in
that existing marketplace that the company can market to. And for
Professor McDonald, ‘having the skills to be a cross-functional
communicator are meaningless unless the marketing chief has the skills
to enable them to develop credible and deliverable strategies.’
In other words, being creative is all well and good – and of course we
need creatives at the promotional end of marketing – but if marketing is
ever to become the value driver that it could be, the discipline as a
whole needs to become more scientific. For McDonald, the problem is
essentially that we confuse practice with professionalism. Anyone can
practice marketing, but to be a professional one has to train and qualify
- as one would have to do in accountancy, dentistry or any other
profession. If marketers continue to concentrate on idealistic but
unmeasurable goals such as ‘creating consumer demand’ and
‘understanding the customer’ without having a real understanding of
Shareholder Value Added (SVA), we will never progress as a profession.
Managing
Marketing People
It should be emphasised that this is not, and never has been, entirely
the case. Laurie Wood adds that whether or not marketing people are
creative depends on the marketing function they fill. Market research,
for example, has always relied on a mix of science and creativity. Penny
Mesure, Head of Research at i to i research, believes that market
researchers need to enjoy both disciplines, ideally from the outset.
‘When recruiting market researchers I have often found it helpful to ask
prospective candidates, “Did you have difficulty in choosing between
Arts and Sciences at A Level?” Very many subsequent high flyers have
answered “yes”.’ [Source: Correspondence with Insights, May 2005].
As DVL Smith and JH Fletcher point out, ‘Market and consumer
research is needed by businesses to reduce the uncertainty involved in
making business decisions… the best framework we have for
organising this enterprise is that of science.’ [Source: Smith, D. and
Fletcher, J. (2004) The Art and Science of interpreting market research
evidence. Chichester, Wiley, p16]
Smith and Fletcher call market research ‘a scientific approach’ rather
than ‘a science’ to avoid ‘misleading audiences into thinking they are
going to be served up with findings of unquestionable certainty.’
[Source: ibid] Marketing as a whole can shift into new territory by
adopting ‘a scientific approach’. With such a mindset, marketers can
show they are willing to use accurate and methodological tools –
reducing accusations of inexactness – without suggesting that the
answers can be found by following mathematical formulae.
Marketing tends to attract imaginative, creative people because it is seen
as a creative, advertising and promotion-led industry. As Laurie Wood
points out, ‘Creative types are attracted to marketing because until they
come to study it, the prevalent view is that marketing is largely a
creative discipline (i.e. limited to advertising and promotion).’ [Source:
Correspondence with Insights, April 2005]. These creative people then
sometimes find themselves in jobs for which they are not cut out.
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Managing
Marketing People
Managing
Marketing People
THREE
The marketers of the future
Professor Malcolm McDonald points out, ‘they would be instantly
sacked!’ [Source: Correspondence with Insights, April 2005]
In The Economist’s 2004 summit paper, marketing languishes at the
very bottom of the managerial pile in terms of reputation. [Source:
Davison, L. (2004) Marketing in the Spotlight: what people really think of
marketing. Research International 17 March. Available from :
http://www.research-int.com/library/library.asp?id=505
(Accessed on 25 May 2005)]
Marketing must move away from being perceived, taught and recruited as
a predominantly creative discipline, towards one which embraces
elements of both creative and scientific approaches. Malcolm McDonald
adds, ‘The failure of the marketing community to get to grips with
shareholder value added – which means taking account of the time value
of money, the cost of capital and the risks inherent in their strategies – is
the real reason so few companies have a marketer on the board’ [Source:
Correspondence with Insights, April 2005]
We have known about the reputation crisis facing marketing for some
time now. A study of ‘how others perceive marketing’ carried out by Dr.
Susan Baker of Cranfield School of Management produced, in the
words of Robert Shaw and David Merrick who used the study, ‘an
unflattering caricature of marketing, which unfortunately is widely
acknowledged by both marketers and their colleagues in other
functions.’ Shaw and Merrick continue, ‘What is particularly apparent is
marketing’s perceived lack of accountability, characterised by the
words “unaccountable, untouchable, expensive and slippery”.’ [Source:
Shaw, R., and Merrick, D. (2005) Marketing Payback: is your marketing
profitable? Harlow, FT Prentice Hall, p13]
The problem is that marketing needs to be about profitable
customer-led demand. If you can’t strategically plan, analyse and
measure, you can conduct as much creative free-thinking and
advertising as you wish, but you will never be able to create
sustainable growth.
To redress this reputation crisis, we need a more scientific mind-set that
can blend with the more creative aspects of marketing. ‘If I were a chief
executive and asked my marketing director what shareholders had
received from the millions of pounds invested in marketing and was told
that we had achieved a change of attitude or an increase in awareness,’
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Laurie Wood takes up the story. ‘There is undoubtedly little point in
inspirational marketing, if there is no fundamental grounding; little point in
a great marketing strategy if there is no bottom-line benefit; and little
point in developing strategies that work if no-one knows why it worked. A
focused and well-targeted evidence-based strategy complete with
reflection and synthesis will inevitably create greater value-added over the
medium to long-term than continually reinventing wheels within a
marketing department that does not learn from its actions.’ [Source:
Correspondence with Insights, April 2005]
Cranfield’s process of ‘marketing due diligence’ is an attempt to address
this problem. The tangible assets of a company’s value are measured by
a process called due diligence, which evaluates risk. Why shouldn’t the
intangible assets, which according to Cranfield can make up to 80% of a
typical company’s value, be treated in the same way? Marketing due
diligence attempts to measure the intangibles by assessing marketing
initiatives against a sound scientific background. [Sources: Smith, B.,
McDonald, M., and Ward, K. (2003) Marketing due diligence. Marketing
Business, October, pp.18-20. McDonald, M. (2001) Marketing due
diligence – make marketing accountable or it will die. Cranfield School of
Management]
Visit www.shapetheagenda.com for more information
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Managing
Marketing People
A greater understanding of how financial results can be linked to specific
marketing activities could help to redress the imbalance. ‘Marketing due
diligence’ is the first real attempt that has been made to tackle this.
If marketers can become more aware of metrics, and develop an
understanding of how marketing can be made more accountable, there
is a chance that we can raise the dignity of the profession to a level
where the lack of marketers in the boardroom can be addressed.
Widely acknowledged as a problem for marketers, the reason is
perhaps not that the marketing function is undervalued, but that
marketers need to widen their general business knowledge in order to
hold their own amongst board members who have emerged from other
departments.
‘Marketers don’t develop financial acumen early enough in their
careers,’ according to a director of an executive search firm.
‘Candidates aren’t numerate and lack commercial perspective’
according to a marketing partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. [Source:
Exley, L. and Young, L. both cited in Shaw, R. and Merrick, D. (2005)
Marketing Payback: is your marketing profitable? Harlow, FT Prentice,
p13] Clearly, a new way of teaching marketing from the beginning is
required.
FOUR
Perception Shift
Managing
Marketing People
In which case, the learning model needs to change. And from that
point, we need to emphasise the scientific elements during the
recruitment process. This will achieve the double aim of attracting more
scientific people (who might be put off marketing because they
perceive marketing as creative) and emphasise to the creative people
that they will need to embrace the scientific nature of the profession –
not avoid it, as is often the case at the moment.
• A new training model – produce marketers who are capable of
analysing figures, are familiar with SVA and metrics, and who are
comfortable with talking in terms of return on investment (ROI).
• A new recruitment model – the marketing department should have
a blend of scientific and creative people, who communicate with
each other rather than distrust the other’s discipline.
There are many applications for the more rigorous line. Consider the
way companies deal with data. Marketers are keen to get data – but
with the exception of large corporates, they frequently don’t know what
to do with it. Our last Insights paper, The Devil and the Deep Blue A, B
or C showed that loyalty schemes, and other sophisticated data
capture technologies, store masses of information about customers –
what they buy, what time of day they buy it, how frequently they return,
how they respond to special offers or discounts – but so little of this
data is then used to increase market share. This is because, with
significant exceptions, those marketers handling the data don’t have
the technical skills to drill into the data and see what it means.
Why does marketing have so many creatives rather than scientific
types? The problem is that marketers are action oriented, thinks Laurie
Wood. ‘Their preferred learning styles are similarly activity-based
(learning by doing). Stopping to reflect, analyse and synthesise does
not come easily to these types. If the learning model does not enforce
the reflective element, then a short-cut loop is created based on
continuous action and little or no learning.’
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Managing
Marketing People
There are several ways to change the way marketing people are
managed:
• Recruitment - to select people who have analytical AND creative
skills.
• Motivation – to stimulate more interaction between the creatively-
minded members of the profession and the scientifically-minded
ones, and to reduce the natural distance that makes each type
wary of the other.
• Rewards and incentives.
As Juanita Cockton points out, ‘Too often it is assumed that if you are a
marketer you can do all marketing jobs and tasks. That has never been
the case and as with most professions these days expertise requires
deeper skills – not just broader ones.’ To manage marketing people
means ‘recruiting and building teams with a combination of skills that
will advance the organisation. Creativity needs to be supported with
hard facts – and evidence of how the team will deliver the marketing
promise.’ [Source: Correspondence with Insights, May 2005]
Marketing has the opportunity to drive business. The first step is to
communicate marketing as a mixture of scientific and creative
disciplines. The second step is to train existing marketers in the
economic or accountancy skills where they are currently lacking, and to
introduce an understanding of SVA and metrics. And the third step is to
attract scientifically-minded people to counterbalance the creative
marketing employees, and to recruit marketers who have the magic
blend of scientific and creative abilities.
These elements combined can help put marketing in its rightful place,
at the heart of business; and increase respect for the value of the
profession as a whole.
© The Chartered Institute of Marketing 2005. The Insights Team
Visit www.shapetheagenda.com for more information
Looking Ahead
LOOKING AHEAD
What’s next on the strategic agenda from CIM?
Starting in October, we move on to our Marketing and the Law Agenda,
where we highlight the increasing encroachment of the Law onto
marketing practice. Over the last five years there have been in excess
of 500 pieces of legislation aimed at marketing. New codes of practice
have been introduced (with numerous sets of guidance notes to
accompany them!).
Marketing is becoming an increasingly complex environment. We explore
why this should be and examine the key issues this gives rise to. Ignorance
of the Law is no defence to a breach of any law. Are marketers at risk
of finding themselves in difficult terrain? Is the future of marketing one
that sees ever more restrictive practices imposed by legislators? Will
marketing as we knew it 10 years ago cease to exist? This is a vital
concern to all those who consider themselves marketing professionals…
April 2006 sees the launch of our Technology and Marketing Agenda.
Technology is now one of the key drivers of marketing practice. Many
of the everyday practices we take for granted today were undreamt of
even 15 years ago and the impact of technology is being felt ever more
keenly. That’s why laws have been enacted to protect our privacy as
individuals, to stop unwanted communications reaching us and to limit
the ways in which information about us can be held.
But the more exotic technologies that are still on the development
bench may take us into a whole new world…a world that is a veritable
minefield of ethical dilemmas and moral issues. We examine where
technology may lead marketing and what we as marketing professionals
need to know about the changing technological landscape.
We would welcome your own experiences, anecdotes and views ahead
of publication of these Agenda Papers. Help us Shape the Agenda at
www.shapetheagenda.com
Visit www.shapetheagenda.com for more information
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Hot courses
Hot courses
Benefits for you as an individual
This course will help you develop a structured, practical approach to
marketing management activities by the effective use of your team and
financial resources. This will help to increase awareness of the key areas
that are essential to the achievement of your organisation’s objectives.
Managing Marketing People
Develop your ‘people orientated’ marketing management potential.
3 day residential course
21 hours CPD
Level: Manager
Code: 0121
CIM Member Price: £1615.50 + VAT
Non-Member Price: £1795.00 + VAT
(Price includes full board, tuition and materials)
17-19 October 2005, Moor Hall Conference Centre
3-5 March 2006, Moor Hall Conference Centre
www.cim.co.uk/0121
The purpose of this course
To accelerate your management experience, confidence and
effectiveness when managing marketing people and understanding the
transferable skills available to you.
17
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
You will learn to:
Communicate effectively one-to-one or to your team
Proactively use team building and team role assessment
Effectively recruit and select
Develop, motivate and retain your staff
Think creatively
Use marketing planning strategically and tactically
Manage change through effective leadership skills
Use marketing metrics - and the marketing BSC (Balanced Scorecard).
Who this course is for
Executives and managers responsible for the profitable management of
their markets; managers faced with a need to thrive in ever-more
competitive markets, and who cannot afford to be followers.
Benefits for your organisation
This course will help you develop a structured, practical approach to
marketing management activities by the effective use of your team and
financial resources. This will help to increase awareness of the key
areas that are essential to the achievement of your organisation’s
objectives.
Choose from more than 150 training courses. For further details visit www.cimtraining.com.
All our open courses can also be run in your own company.
Choose from more than 150 training courses. For further details visit www.cimtraining.com.
All our open courses can also be run in your own company.
2005 Market Segmentation 2.qxp
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Page 19
Hot reads
Hot reads
The Art and Science of Interpreting Market Research Evidence
Marketing Payback
DVL Smith and JH Fletcher
Wiley £24.99 ISBN: 0470844248
Robert Shaw and David Merrick
FT/Prentice Hall £24.99 ISBN: 0273688847
Market research used to be either
qualitative or quantitative – and the useful
application of the gathered data was
frequently difficult to extract. Things have
changed. These days, market research has
a more scientific methodology, which gives
a more rounded view of what the market
evidence suggests. For DVL Smith and JH
Fletcher, this new approach requires
analytical frameworks ‘that combine hard
market research data with prior
management knowledge and intuition.’
Professor Robert Shaw and David Merrick
have set out to help marketers answer the
fundamental question ‘Is your marketing
profitable?’ In the book they attempt to bridge
the gaping chasm that often exists between
marketing and finance and help marketers
talk the language of business - numbers more fluently.
This is an excellent book that poses the
question, ‘is market research a science or an art?’ and concludes that
it’s both. The authors suggest new, disciplined frameworks for market
research practitioners – ‘intuitive thought can be powerful, but it can
also be wrong.’ Instead the book offers a holistic approach to data
analysis, based on ‘the rigorous evaluation of prior management
knowledge, as well as drawing on conventional data analysis methods.’
The evidence available to market researchers is changing all the time –
and this book shows exactly how that evidence can be managed to
maximum effect.
‘This book is written for those frustrated and
hard-working souls who know they’re not
dumb, but find that the technical
complexities make them feel helpless.’
Split into three sections, the book looks at whether your marketing is
profitable, solutions to common problems, and financial planning and
control. As well as expertly addressing the broader context of marketing
metrics, it also provides detailed advice on topics such as valuing
brands, pricing, promotions and budgeting. Many common methods of
measurement used by marketers are clinically assessed and their flaws
or weaknesses brutally exposed, before new tools or methods that are
both more rigorous and more credible are put forward. Whilst a book of
this nature will always prove daunting for most marketers, the authors
are fully aware of the complexity of their subject matter, and have put
considerable effort into explaining concepts in simple layman’s terms.
Properly researched and clearly explained, this is an excellent and
important book.
Five Chillies = Red Hot
One Chilli = Disappointing
For more information or to order your copy visit
www.cim.co.uk/shop or call +44 (0)1628 427427
For more information or to order your copy visit
www.cim.co.uk/shop or call +44 (0)1628 427427
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Hot reads
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the marketer
CIM Membership
the marketer
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Shaping the future of business, this is a new magazine
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the marketer is published 11 times a year.
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