The Role of Marketing in Challenging Times

Every cloud has a silver lining and the current economic down turn- which started in the West but is having an inevitable worldwide impact- is no exception. Despite feeling anxious about the overall state of the global economy. The marketing bodies have found that marketers remain relatively optimistic about the fortunes of their own companies, and crucially, the prospects for marketers themselves.

How is this possible? Simple. Marketing is now at the very heart of business and is accepted as the competitive differentiator in these challenging times. In short, there is recognition that it will be those organizations that attract and retain professional marketers who will be best placed to ride out and even profit from the economic turbulence.

Why marketing? Surely when budgets are tight, the last thing you need is marketers overspending on ever so-creative but ever-so-ineffective campaigns? In fact, more and more organizations have woken up to the fact that qualified marketers can have a fundamental role not just in the here-and-now, but in the long term success if their business.

After all, marketing is about so much more than advertising or promotion. When times are tough, forward-thinking organizations need professionals adept in anticipating, identifying and then meeting customer and market needs. Never is this more relevant than at times like this, when competition for consumers’ spending becomes fierce. The survivors- the winners -0 will be those organizations able to respond quickly and appropriately to changes in their customers and markets.

In fact, in bracing themselves for challenging times, many marketers are already significantly altering their plans to cope with the rapidly different climate of the recession. They are adapting to the changing needs of their markets and customers; they are using their resources ever more wisely; and they are monitoring their achievements with growing precision.

What all this means is that there has never been a better time to be a professional marketer, for you have a key role to play in guiding companies through the tough times ahead. Being at the very forefront of business means this profession has more and more to offer both those embarking on a new career or those already working their way up the marketing career ladder.

Indeed, marketing is one of the most dynamic, constantly evolving profession. It encompasses a wide range of activities and skills- from number crunching and analysis right through to innovation and creativity. Marketing executives are involved in planning, advertising, promotion, public and media relations, PD, distribution, sponsorship and research- just name a few. And although marketers are found chiefly within the private sector, there are more and more marketing jobs in the public and not-for-profit sectors as the long-term benefits that responsible marketing brings become more evident. Social marketing too is how firmly on the agenda as a cultural force for beneficial global change.

Whilst the responsibilities of the role will course vary, depending on the size of the organization and sector, and whether the focus is on selling a product, service or raising awareness of an issue, what all marketing roles share is being in an exciting, varied and challenging role at the very centre of business.

Not only is marketing an exhilarating profession, it is also an increasingly popular one. Not only are unprecedented numbers of people choosing marketing as their profession of choice, but many millions of others are making marketing decisions as part of their everyday job role. This does not, however, mean that the profession is saturated. Indeed, it is the qualified marketer the situation, decide the best options and implement appropriate strategies to meet the rapid changes that lay ahead of us all.

For anyone in any doubt about the extent of the transformation within the sector, you need look no further how the techniques of marketing have changes hugely in the last 40 years with the spread of radio and then television, faster and more pictorial printing of newspapers and magazines and the growth of digital media.

The introduction of digital media alone has brought an explosion in the number of channels marketers can use. This year is just the 10th anniversary of the launch of Google. Moreover, we have, as marketers in recent years, had to take on board other business issues such as social responsibility, reputation management and increasingly demanding stakeholder communication.

I think, it’s our time for marketers. I would go so far as to say that as marketers, we are now requiring more than any other professional to understand the business and our role in delivering strategic business objective. Do you all agree?