Sunday, October 03, 2004

Is Marketing Obsolete?

In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Marketing was "hot". Following the introduction of the brand management sytem as P&G in 1922, the marketing philosophy had been slow to spread until many years later it exploded. For several decades, it looked as though it would be universally adopted. However, less than half of the Fortune 500 companies havc a Chief Marketing Officer, whereas virtually all have a Chief Financial Officer. Marketing became more technical, specialised and tactical. For many marketers, they saw their major challenge to be getting more money to spend. As Nirmalya Kumar, Professor of Marketing at London Business School has suggested, although the understanding of Marketing Strategy has spread to CEO and CFO, the function of Marketing has become less relevant. Since anyone thinks they can do Marketing Strategy, the need for a CMO is far from obvious as long as technical experts are in the organization to execute. So while other functions have become more strategic, perhaps Marketing has become a technical specialty. In many industries and companies, Marketing has been split into Product Management, Channel Marketing and Marketing Communications. Strategy and Financial consultants not only feel qualified to assist clients on Marketing issues better than Marketing consultants, but many clients agree.

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