Marketing is what I choose to call ‘everlasting’. In the good times it’s required to keep you on top; in the worst times it’s required to keep you from falling out of the bottom. While business coaches deliver their eulogies as to what to do and economists tell us what’s going wrong and how bad it’s likely to be, our profession is left to fight the good fight and win back the lost yards. People perceive that, like warriors of the past, we will emerge bloodied and battered with a ‘Heineken’ in one hand and Hors D’Oeuvres in the other.

While this may be an acceptable perception for accountants, economic rationalists and business managers – those who usually make judgement about what is spent and what is unnecessary – it is not much fun for those of us out here who have to fight the battle. Not that I’m complaining, I’m not; my colleagues and I signed up for the front line and that’s what we do.

My bitch is with those guys who don’t acknowledge what we do and undervalue our worth. Sure accountants are necessary and from my point of view I find many of them interesting to talk with. I wouldn’t say that they are the best dinner companions but they certainly have an interesting perspective for blokes who have never been anywhere near a battle field.

In the past three months I’ve heard more marketing and strategic twaddle from accountants and so called economists than I can stomach. If they knew so much about the economy how come they didn’t know this latest category five hurricane was about to hit us? Sorry guys but some of us out here are beginning to see through the smoke and the spin, discovering as we go that you jokers are just guessing. Based on that rationale, my economic judgement is as good as theirs… and I’m a marketer for pity sake.

My point here is this, if you guys are so ordinary in your predictions and it’s your core skill, how can you claim any credibility in judging the worth or quality of marketing – a profession in which you have little or no
skill whatsoever?

If you think this is all directed at accountants, business managers and economists you’d be wrong. I’m aiming this directly at the business owner because it is business and especially medium to small business that takes its advice from these administrative gurus.

I just want to hear one of these Einsteins tell me they appreciate what we marketers do and trust us to come through with the victory. That’s not to say that some don’t spend the money – they do but the inevitable truth is that by the time these wise men have finished with our strategies they bear little resemblance to the solution we’ve recommended. For example, a full page press advertisement is turned into a quarter page and guess what? When it’s a quarter effective, “it was our idea and it didn’t work”.

We as a profession have always wanted to work closely with the finance men and women but collaboration depends on both parties respecting the skills of the other and therein lies the problem. Marketing looks easy. It’s like watching a game of chess; looks pretty simple in the hands of an expert but it takes know how, practice and brains to perfect.

So next time you get advice from the bean counters remember this. No battle was ever won from the rear, that’s just the safe place to be. Shouting orders and telling others to die for the cause is all very well but spare a thought for the guys who put their crown jewels on the line and march forward without surrender. What do you need on your side? Talk or Strategic Action?

To all my, now offended, financial administration friends, I offer this olive branch. Wise up chaps. It’s time you got dressed because the ‘king is in his altogether’ – we see you… and you’re naked!