Magazine article Marketing

Getting Boards to Listen Looks like a Titanic Mission

Magazine article Marketing

Getting Boards to Listen Looks like a Titanic Mission

Article excerpt

The man who cried "iceberg" on the Titanic showed gross ignorance of ship management. The bridge considered icebergs only on Wednesdays and, anyway, he should have told the Icebergs Subcommittee.

Bearers of bad news have never been well received. The news here, if news it be, is that marketing does not have a place in most British boardrooms, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), because it is not seen as fundamental to the business.

As the Captain said: "We recognise the importance of marketing and will get to it as soon as sales pick up."

The Marketing Society, together with the Marketing Council, the IPA and the Sales Promotion Consultants Association, have created the Marketing Metrics project. This year it will recommend best practices and shared marketing language. But will it make any difference? Most British boards approve marketing spend of some sort, but few review performance. Marketing is not their central concern.

So, we need topics to open boardroom doors. For example, most boards would like to know the financial return on their marketing spend. That is a good and a daft question; good because it gets marketing assessment on the agenda. We will explore how daft it is another time. You may as well ask the financial return on having breakfast. Every firm markets to live.

Here are some considerations to focus minds:

* Should we track customer attitudes and behaviour more carefully than we are now? …

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