Is Marketing Losing Its Value?

During the past nearly 30 years, we have recognized a disturbing trend not always obvious to many companies: Marketing is losing its value. Fueled to a great extent by technology, this trend can be attributed to many factors, resulting first and foremost in the growing separation between business and marketing strategy. (For other contributing factors, […]

During the past nearly 30 years, we have recognized a disturbing trend not always obvious to many companies: Marketing is losing its value. Fueled to a great extent by technology, this trend can be attributed to many factors, resulting first and foremost in the growing separation between business and marketing strategy. (For other contributing factors, please see How We Got Here).

It’s a trend being fueled by an increasing reliance on technology, the growing separation of business and marketing strategy, a shift in focus from marketing thinking to tactical ‘do-ing,’ and the divergence of internal company disciplines—particularly sales, marketing and the executive suite.

Coupled with a resulting loss of budget, the role of marketing (real and perceived) has become increasingly tactical—often removed from the strategic context that would tie it to business objectives. As a result, internal marketing people—who once managed with strong strategic direction and administration—have more and more been replaced with tactical thinkers who know more about how a website works than how it contributes strategically to the business.

And yet—perhaps as much by inertia as anything—the marketing function continues to be funded. But along with it has come a growing uneasiness that marketing is becoming little more than a line-item expense. So the inevitable questions become:

What are we really paying for, and are we getting an acceptable return on investment? Put another way…

What does marketing really mean to our organization?

This trend isn’t occurring solely within the four walls of American companies. As the internal focus has become more tactical, outside vendors have attempted to mirror the transition…shedding strategic focus for technical know-how. The result is a vicious circle: The more technology replaces thinking, the more marketing strategy is perceived to be an expensive—even obsolete—luxury.

To mitigate this trend, Cohesion has built an approach that focuses exclusively on revealing and reestablishing the value of marketing.

While we’re working on our next Idea, I hope you’ll read about how Cohesion helps companies leverage the full value of their marketing organizations, here.

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