Marketing is dead

Kim_tasso135 So says Kim Tasso, an independent consultant based in Middlesex, England, specializing in the professional services sector with more than 20 years' marketing experience. Writing in the Summer 2005 issue of pm magazine, the worldwide journal for marketing professional services from the PM Forum, she adds that business development is thriving.  Here's her article.

Some firms feel it is enough simply to re-spray their marketing department as 'business development' in order to remain in vogue. Others are recruiting a new breed of 'marketing' professional to spearhead their shiny new business development teams. The brave ones even call it by one of its proper names - new business sales or key account management.

While some may dismiss the trend as a flirtation with a new management fad, others will recognize it as what economists call a weak signal - which has a nasty habit of turning into harbingers of major change and sometimes crises. It may be an expression of the disappointment and dissatisfaction with the lack of accountability, return on investment and the torrent of ivory tower missives from marketing teams that have lost touch (if they ever had it) with the needs of their partners and, more importantly, the needs of the clients. In which case, dear Marketers, wake up and smell the coffee - you had your chance and failed and your days are now numbered. Partners are demanding faster and more obvious results.

Taking a more optimistic view, it could be that marketing has been incredibly successful in educating the partners and fee-earners in the need to take a more strategic approach to analyzing their markets, setting clear goals and developing structured marketing plans. The marketing knowledge and skills have been successfully transferred to the lawyers, accountants and surveyors and they have looked over their past failures and have subsequently established sophisticated and integrated marketing campaigns that are generating a flow of high quality leads.

So now they need people who can confidently coach them through pipeline management and sales conversion. If this is the case, then marketers can dust off their rusty selling skills and return to the front line.

If your firm has taken the dramatic step of establishing a separate business development function, then marketers must do their utmost to ensure that the overall effort remains 'on strategy,' integrated and effective. They must learn all they can from this new breed of client-facing, short term results oriented deal makers and prevent the silos of independent action re-emerging to threaten the greater needs of the practice. Or face being pigeon-holed into a relatively passive brand-defending communications function - forced into a worrying past-time of watching all that work in strategic planning and positioning being sacrificed at the alter of the 'quick win' major sale.

I'm up there with the optimists. And I'm delighted to witness the revolution. Call me a traitor but it's a fantastic opportunity - and one that some of us have fought hard to win. We are finally being freed from the shackles of behind-the-scenes support and taking our rightful place alongside the fee-earners as we participate in meaningful dialogues with clients about how they want their professional services delivered in the future.

The future is bright, the future is business development.

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Cleo - July 22, 2005 12:30 PM

Companies are starting to embrace blogging as well as podcasting. What do you think of these two as far as being a plus for your business?
Here is an article on podcasting that I found interesting:
I think both could be good for a business.

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