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How does marketing and CSR relate – and should it?

The other day I was talking with an acquaintance of mine. We were pondering the changed marketing landscape, and companies’ and their marketing departments’ changing role as a result; and he asked, kind of rhetorically, if marketing and CSR didn’t kind of belong together.

 

I’ve always believed that every external action, every design component, every piece of communication, every product or service communicates and positions your company and determines whether your customers want to relate to you or not, and how.

Therefore, I also believe that there cannot be walls between marketing, corporate communication, customer service, product development or CSR for that matter. It’s called brand management and it’s called customer experience. Two sides of the same coin. This is old hat, really.

 

But the question about the relation between marketing and CSR specifically is an increasingly important one, not least because of the inherent conflict, or at least perceived conflict between the two, one being commercial, the other philantropic in nature. Perhaps there doesn’t have to be one.

 

We’ll ponder some more and – maybe – return with some thoughts on how to manage marketing and CSR symbiotically.

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When marketing strategy is worthless

Imagine the following scenario: it’s the annual brand strategy seminar for a large, multi-national B2C company. The VP of Marketing goes on stage to present the new marketing model.

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When marketers complain about the lack of influence at executive level they’re grabbing the wrong end of the stick.