Thursday, September 3, 2009

What's this thing about strategic marketing positions?

All of a sudden, jobs advertisements are popping up all over the place seeking 'strategic marketing manager'. Does this mean there is such a thing as a non-strategic marketing manager? No wonder marketing people have difficulty being heard at executive level if this is (a) True or (b) perceived to be true. This new position description seems to suggest the latter, which has to be a concern for the marketing fraternity.

Marketing and, in particular, its big brother, branding, should be at the centre of corporate strategy. Brand defines what an organisation stands for, its value sets and its unique point of difference. Marketing is, or should be, the projection of those values into the marketplace, whether they be price-driven or value-add. Even tactical marketing and sales activities should enshrine the strategic positioning of the business.

Let's do away with the 'strategic marketing' tag and just don't hire marketing or communications people for whom being strategic and aligned with the business plan and values is not a given. It would be a good first step to convincing the bean counters and legal eagles circling our board tables that marketing is a strategic business.

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