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When marketers aren’t marketers

Inspired Thinking Group


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March 23, 2016 | 3 min read

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Marketing should be an industry where creativity rules, where the next world-changing campaign is only a brainstorm away. But marketing has changed. It has grown up to earn a place at the boardroom table, but many marketers have found their day-to-day job has gone stale.

Globalisation, expansion, cost control and compliance bring process and complexity to the fore, at the expense of creativity. The management of multiple campaigns across multiple channels means that marketers often have to focus more on procurement, reporting and administration, and less on the creation of the next big thing.

Marketers risk becoming guardians of operation and efficiency, rather than trailblazers in innovation. This defeats the object of doing marketing in the first place. Yes, processes are essential. Yes, it is important to get bang for buck. Yes, the bottom line is ultimate measure of success. But why should this come at the expense of brilliance?

We still have wide-eyed and fresh-faced marketers joining our brands and agencies every year, but we are stifling them with bureaucracy. Marketers today need to deal with multichannel campaigns, assets, technologies and suppliers, but they have very clear aims –building brand loyalty, a quality customer experience and, of course, sales. It shouldn’t be so complicated to achieve something so simple.

To stop the tail wagging the dog, we need to strike a balance. Marketers should be marketers – not administrators, procurement or IT people. But restructuring the marketing machine requires us to have a deep understanding that all marketers are different – as are all organisations and workflows.

The successful modern marketer is the one who finds a balance between doing things right and doing the right things. But how is the equilibrium achieved? How do you find time to be creative when there are so many processes to manage?

To answer these questions, ITG has teamed up with The Drum to hold a round table debate in London on 27 April 2016. Joining me will be Richard Jones, Head of Design and Production of Marks & Spencer, as well as marketing and procurement leads from other brands and agencies. Together, we will discuss how things ever got this complicated, and how we can share best practice in marketing management to allow us to reclaim our real jobs.

To register for the event please visit

Simon Ward, Founder and CEO, itg


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