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Talking markets not marketing: How Marketers can add value to their organisations and not end up like Blockbuster or Kodak

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 who is responsible for revenue in an organisation, why good brands go bust and the critical difference between marketing and market development.

It’s the second 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).

Angela Hatton:

I say that things have changed. When I started my career, which was four decades ago, companies looked very different than they do today. They were still very flabby in terms of the layers of management. I remember one of my first consultancy jobs, which was still probably one of the best ones I ever got to do was for a management centre that was quite local to me here, Sundridge Park Management Centre.

And they asked me to interview CEO’s from the top 100 companies, asking them what they thought the role of a manager would be in 10 years time, because they were trying to put management courses together.

And at the time the first company I went into, which was a utilities company, there were 32 levels of manager between the top, the CEO and the shop floor.

And of course, technology has then swept out all those middle managers who were really bean counters a lot of the time. And it’s made all of us have to take on a more strategic role and be much more multifunctional and much for capable.

Rene Power:

That is quite flabby.

Angela Hatton:

It is very flabby. And I don’t think it was particularly unusual.

Rene Power:

Watching us live on Facebook, do feel free to ask questions or pose current challenges that you’re facing in your organisation. You’re trying to kind of level up, position up, manage up as we call it.

What challenges are you facing? If you want to kind of drop a question or a comment and share that in the comments, so we can kind of pick that up and if it’s something we can advise on while we’re having a chat, we’re more than happy to do that.

Who is responsible for revenue in a business?

The point about revenue there, and when you first mentioned it about asking the question about, “Who’s responsible for revenue?” I thought we’re going to be going down a path here where again, marketers that are predominantly focused on promotional marketing, are probably going to be a bit scared to want to have conversations like that because the sort of stuff that they’re doing might not be bringing that kind of value.

Yes, it’s top of funnel stuff. It’s creating interest. It’s creating all of that sort of stuff but it’s not perhaps as tangible as other things but then when you qualified it by saying it’s about revenue in the long term, it’s not just about the orders now. It’s about customer lifetime value. It’s about opening up those customers and creating bigger segments.

Starting to look at this account based marketing phenomenon saying, “How can we go and manage, get more big contracts and accounts,” like we’ve got at the minute. So you’re right. That kind of relationship marketing, I suppose, it doesn’t always just sit with the sales guys that won the order, does it?

Angela Hatton:

No.

Rene Power:

It is a company wide thing that needs to be led from the marketing department.

Angela Hatton:

And it shocks me still, how many organisations, the big organisations in particular. In fairness, smaller organisations tend to be a lot leaner and meaner, and actually are much closer to their customer base anyway.

And anyway, there’s probably only team of 10 people or something. So the marketing person can talk to everybody else in the business without the kind of bureaucracy or hierarchy or what have you.

But it still shocks me how many organisations are organised around their products rather than around their customers.

Now, you understand historically why that’s happened and it’s because essentially planning was done around where the budgets were allocated. And budgets are allocated in order to make product.

Annual budgets and budgeting and why major organisations went bust

And they would be around a factory. Factory A over here is making product A and Factory B somewhere else is making Product B. And so the annual plans were really the annual budgets essentially. They were not strategic business plans. They were not business development plans in the way that strategic marketing should be thinking about it and looking at that top line revenue.

And I mean, I talk about the length of my career but in your lifetime as well, Rene, I’m sure you’ll have seen some very big companies go bust because fundamentally they’ve followed their product lifecycle in and out or their technology lifecycle in and out.

Rene Power:

And the big ones, you think about Kodak. You think about Blockbusters. Some of the retail one’s they’re the biggest and most well known aren’t they because they just took their eye off the ball.

Angela Hatton: