I worked for Unilever for 12 years and one of the biggest activities we always embarked on was Brand strategies and planning that really shaped the company’s growth agenda.

As I got into more senior jobs one of my most critical jobs was to give senior managers some comfort that as a leader, I understood that marketing would be a strong contributor to the overall business performance.

Fast forward many years in my career and I found myself in companies where marketing was considered to be just the execution arm, never involved in any business strategy and never taken seriously.

I see a lot of that happening and it saddens me as I think marketing is a key strategic partner to drive growth for the business. I believe a stronger marketing function can lead into greater business results. Here are my top 7 reasons as to why business needs the marketing function:

  1. Marketing’s role in the business is to design executional activities that can be a growth driver – making sure that any acquisition, or consumption or loyalty targets are firmly embedded in the marketing process.
  2. Marketing can help strengthen the company and brand’s equity in the market. Strong brand equities usually can command some premium over competitors.
  3. Marketing can help enhance the company and brand reputation.
  4. Marketing can help in driving the innovation process.
  5. They can help in better understanding consumers and their needs.
  6. Marketing can help in customer service and experience.
  7. They can help in positioning a brand and ensuring that the messages remain relevant over time.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but sometimes people don’t get why marketing must exists – and think of them as just doing pretty pictures and golf days.

A strong marketing function does help bring value to the business, and need the support of business leadership.

This blog was written by Mosidi K Seretlo – Founder and Director of Mosidi K Seretlo Brand & Marketing Agency, Johannesburg.

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