How marketers need to raise their game

Ruth Saunders
Galleon Blue

THE AVERAGE lifespan of a company, according to the Standard & Poor's 500, has dropped from 65 years recorded in the 1920s to only 15 years today, showing how quickly established companies can underperform, so much so that it's estimated that by 2030 over 75% of the companies in the S&P 500 will be ones we don't know today1.

One of the reasons for a company's demise is often its lack of customer-led growth. Strategies for growth tend to differ from company to company -with some focusing on organic growth and others on mergers and acquisitions. But in both cases, strong marketing strategy is pivotal. In Market Leader (Q2, 2011), Hugh Davidson identified 12 levers for generating profitable growth, half of which are the primary responsibility of marketing, with marketing contributing significantly to the others. Similarly, in this issue, Terry Tyrrell (see page 28) attributes the failure of many mergers and acquisitions to the poor fit and management of the acquired brands, which is an area where marketing acumen is critical.