This is the first in a series of three posts on a subject very close to my heart, ‘giving marketing a rebrand’, where I’d like to offer three steps which marketers can take to raise their profile, credibility and effectiveness when faced with cynical non-believers.
Step 1- Fight the Fluff
Marketing is too fluffy and doesn’t add any real value to the business.
Sound familiar? Has your marketing function been referred to as the ‘brochure and brolly’ team? The colouring-in department? I’ve heard all of these and worse, so why do marketers attract this perception?
A common trap is that some marketing people focus on outputs that matter to the marketing team rather than outcomes that matter to the business. Who has ever won a piece of new business because the logo is exactly 7mm away from the top right of the brochure? Or grown market share purely thanks to the consistency of the secondary colour palette in PowerPoint decks? Your customers don’t notice or care about this stuff, so why should you?
As experts in brand management, isn’t it time we applied this knowledge to develop our personal brand and reposition that of our profession, rather than obsessing over minutiae that purely serves to reinforce the stereotype?
Top tips for fighting the fluff
- Begin with becoming obsessively curious about the wider business performance and how marketing can drive or influence it.
- Celebrate new customer wins within your team and make sure every one of them understands the key financials.
- Make a public commitment to link your team’s outputs to directly driving these business outcomes.
I’ll be sharing steps 2 and 3 in subsequent posts, but in the meantime I’d love to hear your thoughts. What has driven you to despair over the ‘fluffy’ perception of marketing, and what steps have you taken to overcome it?