Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - What Do Clients Really Do?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - What Do Clients Really Do?

Article excerpt

After a career spent in advertising, I recently crossed over to be a marketing director. So how did I get on? Did I find out what clients got up to when they weren't having lunch with their agency or why they always seem to be in meetings? Here are five findings some of you might recognise and others might appreciate.

First, there's more to marketing than advertising. Many people seem to think of marketing only in terms of advertising. While this is understandable, given the visibility and potential for change of a major campaign, the fact is that much marketing does not involve any advertising at all. There is a whole world away from the agency and it revolves around such mundane but essential activities as working out what to make, sourcing it, pricing it, packaging it, telling staff, dealers and distributors how to sell it or repair it. The list is a long one.

Despite its importance to the marketing process, though, there can be a tendency for this work to be done with little reference to the consumer and for it to lack the rigour that is applied to developing an ad campaign.

Second, ideas are cheap. An old boss once said this to me and I always thought it counter-intuitive - aren't we always struggling for creativity and the next big thing? But what he meant was that while truly transformational ideas might be rare, there are many good ideas around. All too often that is just the way they stay - as ideas which are never put into action. So the challenge, for agencies as well as clients, is always about how to put good ideas into practice and to make things happen. …

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