Aug 2010
State of the Market
State of the Market
Marketing is as old as civilisation - if you had the best looking fruit or meat, you could trade with others (alternatively, if you did have the best, they may have been stolen, of course). Making things appeal to an audience, and making sure that that audience knows about the products or services is nothing new.
Modern marketing is said to have grown in the Mid West of the USA where billboards littered the streets, and the advent of technologies like cinema, radio, TV and then online has allowed the Americans to maintain a lead in the industry, though not always with best practice.
Because marketing is so fundamental to business, and therefore has been practiced for so many millennial, everyone thinks they can do it. No need for experts, no need for qualifications - just walk the walk and talk the talk. A recent article in Marketing magazine highlights this - ITV are about to appoint former Finance Director with no formal marketing qualifications or experience to the position of CMO.
MBA graduates also feel well-qualified to take on the role of marketing managers, directors, etc., if they complete a marketing module - you would not find an MBA graduate going into accountancy after a finance module! Marketing is largely unregulated and open to all. Whilst this is a positive in free market economies, it does place a question mark over us 'professional marketers'.
So - How do you get ahead in Marketing? It seems that it is just a mixture of luck and networking - forget qualifications, forget experience...
Wrong! Marketing gets a bad press because amateurs undertake the work of professionals. There is most definitely a place in business for professional marketers, and marketing bodies such as the CIM, IDM, etc., should be making this a requirement for marketing practitioners. Consultanties should have a minimum 'ratio' of professional marketers. We pay them to provide us this 'trade' support - they are our trade unions. Any other union would be arguing for the pay, quality of the workplace, qualification of the staff (normally as a restriction of trade) - so where are the CIM, IDM, etc.?
What do you think? Is marketing a free for all, and more importantly, should it be allowed to be a free for all?
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