Marketing as a Business Strategy

Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.

This definition, from the Chartered Institute of Marketing articulates the broad remit of marketing in the modern world and the aspiration of the profession to lead strategy across a whole organisation. Historically, marketing was treated as a support function, the marketing team (if this existed at all in its own right) existed to serve the sales team – simply used as a tool to equip them with materials to do their jobs more effectively. For many this is still the case and marketing is reduced to a marcomms (marketing communications) role in the same way that HR is often reduced to payroll.

Times have changed. Marketing is no longer solely the territory of the marketing department alone, each member of the organisation has a responsibility to represent the brand according to its values and beliefs. Every touchpoint where staff and customers interact should be seen as a marketing activity, from timely shipments to resolving customer service calls.

We have seen only too well in the past how unethical activity can damage a brand, from the banking crisis to the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Evidently, there is a disconnect between the obligations these companies have to their customers and the way they have conducted themselves. The role of marketing is to ensure the customer receives the value and worth they expect when entering into a relationship with a brand, and so a holistic, company-wide commitment to marketing is necessary to meet this expectation.