Creating Brand Value with you own team. You get around, you see a lot and after a while, as a human being hard coded into your instinct you spot reoccurring patterns. You see the common organisational dysfunctional issues repeating themselves, one we see on a regular basis is the vilification of the internal marketing department.

Marketing departments are sometimes seen as outsiders or a resentful expenditure by accountants. Marketeers are called things like “fluffy” like some smart pet rabbit that lurks in a friendly bewildered fashion twitching its nose cowering in the corridor.

Creating Brand Value. The dysfunction occurs when the leadership teams don’t value the innovative, creative possibilities of their marketing department. When business strategies fail, and quarterly figures and poor they are an easy target to blame for their business strategy short comings. They are often reduced to a low-value collateral production department – with an easy to plunder budget.

A large manufacturing organisation, who’s CEO when the company was having a bad turn used to go into the marketing department and start firing people willy-nilly. He would then put the remainder on reception and PA duties and another medial tasks. He is on his fourth wife, however. The marketing team are a great bunch of people, full of ideas that are well thought through, researched. But they have all lost the will beaten to tragically sometimes tearful mess. £8 Million had been invested in new products and production and there was no budget to take these products to market, or even confirm that these are indeed the right products. The competition are stealing market share left right and centre as the previous loyal purchasers retire and are replaced by the next more informed choosy generation, who are buying into new entrants into the market. Needless to say, our up-front honest fact based current state audit report that we were commissioned to do was not well received. The company has since had to be sold. Tragic. However, there is venture capital and a new team and we are in talks about supporting, the internal marketing are team beginning peep out of their holes.

Creating Brand Value together as a team

Creating Brand Value. Look at any great organisation and why it is successful. The whole company consciously or subconsciously is a marketing department. There is a ‘flow’ of ambition and reciprocal communication, sales inform marketing, marketing informs sales, sales and marketing inform product development, the board engage with marketing, marketing engages with the board daily. Business becomes effortless, it becomes second nature and automatic. The strategies become iterative and responsive to sensory market and observational stimulus. Product and service development becomes perfect for market fit. Look at organisations like Virgin, JCB, Dyson and their success. The leaders of these organisations are obsessive about creative marketing and its huge strategic business competitive advantage value.

I would include Tesco’s in this list as a perfect example.

Creating Brand Value. It was under the amazing marketing stewardship of Sir Terry Leahy, with monumental world domination and supermarket, brand leveraging and service innovation. Sir Terry was the man widely credited with building Tesco into one of the world’s largest and most successful retailers, presiding over 14 years of growth in profits and sales. Smashing Sainsbury, who had previously publicly scoffed at Tesco’s innovations in the Times newspaper. They certainly ate their words when Tesco’s grew by an unprecedented 20% in a year.

The things we take for granted at all other Supermarkets we often pioneered by Tescos, online shopping in 1997! Loyalty cards, good training, supply chain development, localisation. Since Terry left the shares took a nose dive and the culture of the business changed from creative marketing to be run by short term, penny-pinching unemotional accountants. Tesco’s has changed for the worse with plummeting profits.

Why? Because the competition have caught up, and Tesco’s stood still abandoning the marketing driven ethos – at board level. The competition copied the advantage giving innovations, removing the trailblazing competitive advantage created and sustained by Tesco’s previous (marketing board level team). So, if you want success, build a smart marketing team and I would take Tesco’s model – go one step further and integrate the culture at board level and don’t whatever you do stop.

So you know what to do, put the shotgun away, go and pat the “fluffy” marketing department rabbit, make friends with it, invite it into the board room, feed it a decent amount of carrots and together the world could be yours.

Subscribe for the latest insights