How did marketing become the colouring in department?

After spending my career in marketing, I had the chance to reflect on my industry’s evolution with other business leaders and founders at The Friday Lunch Club last week. Specifically, why is Marketing so often termed ‘the colouring in department’ and how have we lost so much credibility?

Many CMO roles have been split and fragmented, leaving just one P – Promotion or Marketing Communications. So what’s happened to the other 6 Ps? They’re often delegated to other roles (like Chief Customer Officer) requiring the marketer to influence others to effectively do their ‘holistic’ marketing job. All the 7Ps matter and its definition has sadly become marginalised and redefined.

So how do we get a seat back at the table?

  1. Commercial Acumen: Marketing is a means to driving a customer and commercial outcome. Marketing metrics only carry weight in the boardroom if you can illustrate the connection and impact on the business. So know your business and know the commercial numbers, inside out.
  2. Be data informed and turn it into action: Data analysis will give you a great reflective view, but YOU must decide where you need to go next. Overlay your thinking and that’s the secret sauce. Then, make it happen!
  3. Re-ignite the 7Ps: Build and position marketing solutions using all 7 levers, otherwise perhaps you’re just presenting a ‘price’ or ‘communication’ recommendation vs a ‘marketing’ recommendation.
  4. Influence others to round out the 7Ps: if you don’t directly own them.

And importantly, never refer to Marketing as the ‘colouring in department’!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top