Opinion

No end of year list, just one hope for 2011


While many people are constructing their end of year lists and things to watch out for in 2011, I’ve got just one hope for the next twelve months in marketing…

The past year has been a tumultuous one for the marketing profession. The impact of the recession has seen the industry struggling to redefine itself and put marketing on the boardroom map (a topic I touched on some months back).

And that’s not a view just held in the UK. Conversations I’ve had with various individuals around the world have lead to the same conclusion.

Marketing is in trouble.

The seeming inability to add value, or to express the value added. The difficulties in tying marketing work to the bottom line and overall business strategy.

The tensions between finance, procurement and marketing.

So, for me, 2011 will be a year of redefinition.

It’s time to redefine marketing. It’s probably time to rename the practice as well. To rebrand the whole concept of ‘marketing’.

It’s time to be holistic. To prove that holistic approaches work. To draw on the best of everything that’s gone before to create something new. To understand that marketing, advertising, PR, front-of-house and the guy who prints the mailing envelopes are all working towards the same thing.

But, in order to do this, business needs to change.

Marketers need to be able to market marketing. The conceptual models need to be redrawn and a new space sketched out. Business owners and CEOs need to understand that the process of ‘marketing’ isn’t something that should be cut the moment that things get tough, rather redefined into a practice which fits the new and emerging landscapes.

We need to understand that business has a role in society far more important than just creating and/or redistributing wealth.

We need to consider how business of all sizes and persuasions can act for the common good, creating a shared value system. We need to use all of the tools at our disposal – including those from outside the traditional marketing sphere – to reconnect business with the individual, and with the community.

We need to renetwork ourselves. And that’s going to be a huge undertaking.

But the bigger the challenge, the bigger the rewards. And the bigger the excitement.

So roll on 2011. Let’s do it.

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