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2010: Trends and realities, Part I

2010: Trends and realities, Part I

Gulf Marketing Review magazine offers some insights that marketers might find handy to use in the New Year, Part I.

January 4, 2010 10:35 by

With the region on the cusp of renewed economic growth, getting consumer spend to go your way is the goal. And there are some universal marketing truths that will resurface along with several daunting realities.

Sum of all fears

Not surprisingly, phrases like “digital”, “social networking”, “mobile technology” and “consumer is king” remain at the top of the trends list. But in an economic climate where conservative innovation is favored, industry insiders caution brand owners to go back to basics when communicating brand values and searching for solutions, and to look at the bigger picture when putting together a marketing and media mix.

Speaking at the recent Marketing Week Trends Show in Dubai, P&G’s senior VP CEEMEA Mohammad Samir suggested going as far back as the definition of marketing and its role as distinct from sales.

“While the gut reaction is to let go of your marketing budget to give it to sales to maximize stock shifting, we have to remind ourselves that marketing brands is different from selling brands.”

Samir pointed out, though, that “thanks to the finance departments, [marketers] are tied to their fiscal years, and have now convinced themselves that brand-building can be planned and executed in one year. This only encourages looking at short-term benefits.”

If not vigilant, Samir cautioned, marketers could “lose [their] jobs to four people.” First and second are finance and sales people. They want to push us away from our brand marketing ethos and into purely driving sales at any cost, focusing only on the bottom line.

Third is the consumer. They are creating their own content and can control marketers’ content as never before.

Fourth is the retailer. Not only are they taking more market share through OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), they are also becoming more involved with retail marketing.

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