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20 May 2017

Why is Marketing so invisible?

The stat that caught my eye last week is that only 13% of employees can identify their CMO* – making them the least recognised board member.

This adds a whole new meaning to the first book on advertising I read – ‘The Hidden Persuaders’ by Vance Packard.

Why is it that marketing folk who focus on building awareness of brands externally are so invisible within their own organisations?

The Marketing Society’s Manifesto covers the need for their to inspire the organisation to be customer led. And to find creative ways to get the whole business involved through storytelling which inspires belief in the brand.

But, like the much repeated phrase of everyone needing to become ‘customer focused’, this does not always appear to happen.

This observation is backed up by our own Brand Inside data, indicating that only 20% of boards include the brand on their agendas to inform key strategic decisions. And only 44% of employees surveyed understand what their brand stands for.

Why is this?

The answer is invariably that marketing teams are too stretched to get involved with the brand internally. And even if the capacity is there to inspire other employees to ‘deliver the brand promise’, they don’t know how to do this. And they can’t actually do it on their own.

It needs a combination of skillsets.

Enlightened organisations pull together the combined expertise of Marketing, HR and Internal Comms, who then have a direct line into the CEO as the ultimate ‘guardian of the brand’.

But this combination rarely happens as it means that all parties must step out of their comfort zones. Marketing needs to fully understand internal audiences as well as external ones. HR needs to move beyond its administrative role and thinking the brand is just about the EVP. Internal Comms needs to drive more than just employee communications and engagement.

When this team works together the brand must be the driver of everything.

So it’s anything but invisible and constantly guides the behaviour of all employees, day in day out.

*Source: eShare