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Moving the perception of marketing from cost to value

This outtake is from an hour of discussion recorded exclusively for our Pivotal Marketer Community on Facebook (where the full recording is available) sees Angela Hatton, marketing consultant, trainer and published author and MMC’s Rene Power discussing how marketing has changed, marketing for sales vs marketing for comms and who does (and should own the marketing function) in a business.

It’s the first part in a series of serialisations on marketing management, be sure to check all new posts as they publish (or see the recommended reading below).

Rene Power:

Good afternoon everybody in the Pivotal Marketing community. It’s Rene here and I’m fantastically, delighted to be joined by Angela Hatton. Say hello, Angela.

Angela Hatton:

Hello everyone. Welcome.

Rene Power:

Fantastic. And I think, which room of the house you in, today its the most colourful of all the rooms?
Angela Hatton:

It is. It’s my conservatory.

Rene Power:

Fantastic. It’s a lovely, vibrant colour. I think, when I get round to it, I’m going to have my purple branding set behind me but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. So you’ve beat me to it.

It’s fantastic to have Angela along with us today. For those of you who have been following some of my posts and updates, you’ll know that I mentioned Angela’s book, which I’ve had in my possession since I think circa 1996 or something like that.

Angela Hatton:

That makes me feel really old.

Rene Power:

It was published ’96, Marketing plans with a winning edge. I’m pretty sure it’s still available.

Angela Hatton:

I think it’s now branded the Definitive Guide to Marketing Plans but it’s the same.

Rene Power:

One of the reasons I loved it is because it did explode that whole process of strategy, into implementation, evaluation, and all of that stuff in one neat place. There was loads of white space to scribble all over it, which I did. There’s loads of great graphs in there, there’s loads of little outtakes and things. And I think for anybody who’s writing essentially textbooks / business books these days, they could still take a steer from how that was laid out on the pages.

Angela Hatton:

Thank you. I think that one of the lessons is, as well, that the principles and process haven’t changed.

We’ve got new tools and new methods of reaching people, for example the digital channels, which has made comms in both research and promotion easier, but the principles have stayed the same since Adam was a boy.

Evolution of marketing in business

Rene Power:

Since Adam was a boy, yes. 100%. And I think as well there’s been a lot of talk online and the marketing press recently. People like Mark Ritson, who have risen to prominence. He wrote a column in Marketing Week for years and is sort of very highly regarded disruptive marketer, shall we say, and he’s been saying the same sort of thing.

And there’s a real theme emerging in marketing and about marketing professionals that right now there seems to be an over-focus on promotion.
It’s one of the big things, the things we’re going to be talking about today, isn’t it?

About if you want to be seen as being a really valuable marketer and contributor to your business, it’s about showing how marketing can actually impact the business. One of the problems of the minute I think, is that we’re so fixated on promotion. We’re so fixated on what we say on social media and getting the emails out and doing all of the tactical stuff, sometimes we can be a little bit guilty of not doing the thinking, not doing the hard work that is going to make that stuff more successful.

Now I’m seeing that now. How far back would you say you were seeing that?

Angela Hatton:

I think it’s always been thus, really. I think when marketing was first evolving as a business, a genuine business function, if you like, it was very much seen as a support for the sales team, initially.

It was the comms. It was kind of the lead generation piece almost. I think in some organisations it was positioned within product teams, and so it was always about selling product rather than winning customers. And companies, of course, because that’s how they saw the job evaluated people in terms of their comms and promotional capability, and when they recruited, they were recruiting for the best comms people.

So guess what? We’ve got bunches of marketers, who if they’ve done their CIM qualifications, have done all the strategic marketing, but the companies haven’t given them the bandwidth, haven’t even allowed them into the meetings about strategy because they were seen as tactical. And so that’s where they’ve stayed.

And forever, CIM over the years have banged on about getting marketing into the C-Suite, getting them on that top floor. And to be honest, we failed. The thing that… I suppose I was going to say disappoints me. Now I’m officially retired, I suppose I don’t need to be that disappointed, but it still upsets me, is that that strategic marketing job, the job of generating revenue, identifying new customers, making sure that we’re delivering value for the customer, the value proposition creation, has been given to product teams rather than marketing teams.

And hence, the new book that Louisa insisted I put out during the first lockdown despite my retirement, is a toolkit for product managers, but actually any marketer that picked it up would find it exactly what they would expect in terms of the analysis tools for any market plan.

Rene Power:

That’s fantastic and we’ll come back to that and go through that in a little more detail shortly. I should point out that you’re… obviously this is a group primarily made up of CIM course students, graduates, people who are interested in that, so earl