Turkeys voting for an early Christmas ?

Exceptionally mild weather means I can catch up on all of my accumulated reading on the hotel balcony. Despite constant culling the book bag had begun to assume gigantic proportions. By far the most interesting item so far has been Mark Ritson’s column in the 15th December issue of Marketing Week in which he pulls no punches reviewing a Chartered Institute of Marketing Report which, on reading his critique, seems to recommend the merger of Sales & Marketing competencies within an organisation.

Such was my shared disbelief I went back to the original article and quotes from the report author, David Thorp. (When I get a moment I shall link to the original sources).

I’m with Ritson on this one. The premise is just wrong. Sales and Marketing are vastly different areas of a business rightly attracting people of very different skill sets. Both have a common purpose, the commercial success of the organisation, but with differentiated deliverables. Their coordination should be seamless but the Marketing and Sales dynamic is an essential one to ensure that the mix of short, medium and long term priorities is correct. That’s something that a management team must do. Weighing the arguments, judging the situation. It should not be a dilemma that resides on one desk alone.

I’ve been lucky to work in organisations with both a marketing savvy commercial director and a commercially aware marketing director. It was the perfect blend. However that’s a million miles away from one person doing both !

Sales and Marketing, the twin titans of the business, supporting commercial growth, building brands and safeguarding the future. That requires focus and, yes sometimes tension, but with the right strategic vision both coexist and deliver – the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.

It’s just bizarre that an institute charged with nourishing a profession seems to be downgrading it’s important. Turkeys voting for an early Christmas indeed !


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