Wellâ€¦ they donâ€™t literally have our back, but we are preaching mostly the same thing. In a recent article by Larry Light, marketing is portrayed as one of the most important business functions that on many levels is not managed like a business function.
Mr. Light proposes that marketing is run like a trade. What he means by this is that marketers are becoming increasingly specialized. This is to the point that marketers in a particular specialty our unable to see the marketing and organizational big pictures and see their methodology, theory, or technology as the only true way to market things. They become disconnected from the organization they are a part or servicing.
Mr. Light feels that this trend is devaluing marketing. We completely agree with this notion.
We feel that all marketing strategies should be composed of the right tactical mix of many marketing tactics (trades). We also strive to help our clients understand how marketing is directly integrated with their key performance metrics (profit, sales volume, lead conversion).
In addition to these insights, Mr. Light makes an interesting comment:
â€œReal, actionable insight will not come from superior data analysis. Superior analysis provides understanding of where we are and how we got to where we are. It does not provide insight into what kind of future we can create.
Insight comes from a synthesis of various sources of information. Marketers must return to using their expertise and their judgment and their creativity to make reasoned, informed and insightful decisions.â€
To this point we disagree with Mr. Light. For this reason: creativity exists for itself and itself only. Creativity does not align your position or brand with the needs of your target market. Creativity exists to be creative. Marketing cannot exist just to be marketing, marketing needs to move product.
If marketing were just about creativity GE and Honda would hire marketing directors with fine art degrees, not MBAs.
We feel that Mr. Lightâ€™s previous insight would have been more accurate if it were stated that good marketing is where creativity and data meet in order to achieve desirable and significant results. We agree that good data does not necessarily lead to good marketing unless it leads to innovative, creative, and effective ways of getting the desired bottom line improvements.
So Forbes kind of has our back. We both agree that marketing is undergoing a paradigm shift. We both agree that marketing agencies and departments need to produce and execute strategies that are in alignment with large and important bottom line goals. We do disagree on the point that good marketing is just simply creative and not data driven. We believe and can prove empirically that good marketing is a result of marketing data and creativity working synergistically.
Check out the article for yourself and give us some feedback: http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/23/devalued-marketing-consumers-cmo-network-larry-light_2.html