Musings on a Marketing Manifesto

A Marketing Manifesto, why is it important?

I’ve always been incredibly passionate about marketing and it’s development as a profession, throughout my career I’ve been driven by a real desire to see the marketing profession grow in credibility as a necessary and important strategic function. So when I received an email from Ashley Freidlein this week on the release of eConsulancy’s Modern Marketing Manifesto I have to say I got quite excited about it.

Please read the Modern Marketing Manifesto yourself in its entirety, but as a brief overview here are the 12 points as an intro to my comments:

1. Strategy – marketers should sit at the board table and help set strategy
2. Brand – brands no longer control the media, consumers do
3. Experience – improving the customer experience must be the relentless focus
4. Data – data must be turned into insight and action
5. Digital – digital thinking should be embedded in marketing strategies as a matter of course
6. Personalisation – offers the greatest opportunity to transform what customers currently get.
7. Technology – modern marketers must be comfortable and adept at procuring and using technology to their best advantage.
8. Creative – we need creativity just as much as we need technology
9. Content – content marketing and the focus on owned and earned media represents a fundamental shift in marketing that is more than a fad
10. Multi-screen – the mobile revolution is only just beginning
11. Social – It is about creating businesses that have social in their DNA
12. Commercial – This means knowing the P&L backwards. It means knowing where money is being made and why

So here’s why I think it’s important:

1. It outlines a vision
For me it brought to mind a clear vision of what marketing could be and the impact the marketing profession could have if all the components were embraced. The thing is the marketing manifesto didn’t actually tell us marketers anything new, but sometimes it’s necessary to write the vision and make it plain so that we can run with it. In my view this modern marketing manifesto will provide a catalyst for us marketers to run in the same direction and set the pace for our profession.

2. It’s Unifying
We all know there’s power in unity, and the manifesto unites in two ways:

Firstly in terms of bringing marketers together. In my experience the marketing community is already quite united, there is a high-level of engagement across social media and via organisations like the Chartered Institute of Marketing and eConsultancy who actively foster a sense of community. But I think the manifesto provides a focus and will strengthen this sense of unity, you can already see this in the stream of comments and conversation around it.

Secondly in terms of cross-department collaboration. In order to move this marketing manifesto forward we will have to work closer with departments across the organisation, including sales, finance, customer care and technical, this manifesto provides a focus that makes sense not just for marketing departments but people across the whole organisation and as such will act as a catalyst for collaboration.

3. It’s concise
There’s no fluff, the focus is clear and it concentrates on the issues that will help marketers produce marketing that matters.

4. It centralises marketing as a force for growth
I’ve always believed that marketing should be a central focus in a business, Drucker puts it this way:

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
- Peter Drucker

This marketing manifesto puts marketing on the map as a force for economic growth.

5. It goes beyond digital
I’ve been a practicing marketer for the best part of 7 years and studied the profession for more than 10, as such I’ve seen much growth in the industry which has been positive for the most part. However my biggest gripe has been that as digital has gained prominence many have thrown the best parts of traditional marketing out with the dish water. In my view the best marketers today are still those that incorporate the best of both worlds in their marketing strategies. The marketing manifesto brings to the fore traditional concepts such as branding, positioning and strategy and encourages marketers to think about them in a fresh way.

So suffice to say I’m excited about the prospect of this marketing manifesto and I look forward to the great debates that I’m sure will ensue. If you want to get involved in the conversation on Twitter you can use this hashtag #MoMaMa

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