I studied for the Chartered Institiute of Marketing’s post-graduate diploma in marketing management in 1985-1986 and then later took a specialst MBA in strategic marketing (Hull University) in 1993 to 1995, before, and then just as, the internet and computing technology came into everyone’s working life and on to our desks.
I completed both courses and subsequently managed international B2B industrial marketing (and sales) departments for several years, becoming a Chartered Marketer, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing and then setting myself up as an independent marketing and management consultant. I considered nyself to be a well-trained and experienced expert.
But the last few years have made me reconsider that becasue I find the ground shifting benath my marketing feet. I was trained to manage marketing – in the fullest description of the discipline, from research and planning to marketing communications – in the days when advertising, public and press relations, the management of events and sales teams, were all the means of communication avaiable to us. And, very often, large chunks of those activities were undertaken using “marketing agencies”. These people, often graduates in English rather than marketing, were expert and cost-effective wordsmiths and designers (and, importantyly, placers) of advertising. And those were (all) the means we had to reach out to our prospects, targets and clients.
Howver, I find that approach today is much less valid, particularly for smaller companies. Technology has democratised marketing communications and social media now allow us to place advertising and messages in ways that are very measurable and extremely cost-effective. The other fundenental activities in marketing management – the research and planning – are still very valid but have also been quite dramatically assisted by the advance of technology.
But I find now that young marketing managers are expected to be experts in designing and placing ads on Google and in writing deft and informative blogs themselves, and so the space for external experts in now much reduced. I belive that the overall effect of this slow but very substantial change in the role of the marketing manager has caused the central ground in marketing management – that of research and planning marketing strategy – to become neglected as a discipline. In fact, I find a lot of smaller companies working without a strategic plan, a business plan and/or even a marketing plan. And thus their work is not measured and budgeted effectively.
I have no trite and quick answer to this – only to lament the situation – and to ask for others to comment?