“The marketer's job is to drive growth. Period,” she told delegates at Advertising Week New York 2018. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: JPMorgan Chase rely on bottom-line performance and “just because” instinct.)
Such a goal is at risk of becoming obscured by the massive in tray – from ad fraud to data analytics – facing brand custodians. “It's worth repeating, because I think sometimes it gets lost in a lot of that complexity,” Lemkau added.
Achieving that growth agenda is not straightforward at a large enterprise, either. “For a company of our size, with relationships with half of the households in America, that is no small task, particularly when you're 200 years old,” said Lemkau.
Marketing, she further asserted, can also be a high-risk position, with a turnover every year-and-a-half legacy that can’t be ignored. But focusing too tightly on the brand and not the larger business is a common (and dangerous) mistake.
“If you're sitting and staring at a funnel, you're going to be an 18-monther,” she said. Alternatively, she suggested, “The opportunity to think about your internal funnel has changed.”
No more does marketing have to huddle at the bottom of a decision chain and suffer the consequences when a sub-standard product is launched, doesn’t sell, and “everybody blames marketing.”
The kind of “insight-based knowledge” that only a marketer can bring to corporate-wide planning, by contrast, can empower an organisation to boldly move in new directions.
As Lemkau proposed, “There's been a shift in how marketers are seen, and there aren't any boundaries anymore in the job. The line between marketing and product and sales and technology and operations is really [fading].
“I would advise anyone not to just lean into that but to lunge at that. The things that marketers are focused on now are much less, ‘How many volume of units are we going to sell?’ but the insights that the marketer brings.
“Moreover, the skills that we have around data – and the humanity of the data and how you can activate that for the benefit of the customer – makes marketers much more involved in running a company as opposed to just running the marketing department.”
Sourced from WARC