Knights of the round table pitch for marketing
Sunday 29 October 1995
The new council certainly has heavyweight support. Headed by the British Airways chairman, Sir Colin Marshall, and backed by a retinue of other knights including Sir Michael Perry of Unilever, Sir Alistair Grant of Argyll, and Sir John Egan of BAA; two government departments - Trade and Industry and Education and Employment - and various marketing organisations, it is intended to raise the standards of UK marketing and customer service.
Its chief executive is John Stubbs, a Unilever marketer who will be in charge of the day- to-day running. He says its main function is "to tackle a national agenda to promote marketing as a key to wealth-creation and competition". Its main target audience will be chief executives, because, says Mr Stubbs, "they can make the biggest difference to raising standards within an organisation".
Apart from its government funding, the Marketing Council has convinced a number of leading companies to provide "seed money", which Mr Stubbs says runs into tens of thousands of pounds. It is now asking each of the UK's top 5,000 companies for a pounds 4,000 subscription and is formulating plans for donations from smaller companies.
While its intentions may be laudable and big British companies are prepared to back it financially, cynics may say that the last thing the marketing industry needs is another industry body. Although it is primarily aimed at chief executives, some wonder what it can do for the humble marketing director wbo has seen his budget slashed and his staff made redundant through recession. One leading marketer asks: "Aren't there enough of these sort of bodies already stuffed full of talking heads banging the drum for Britain while it's us that are on the front line every day?"
Another says: "While I appreciate its good intentions, I think it is just going to be bureaucratic and unwieldy."
Mr Stubbs dismisses both allegations. He says that it will be an extremely lean organisation that will bring the existing marketing organisations together to tackle the issues to hand. And he adds: "We did some research among marketing directors, and there was a close convergence between what they thought needed doing and what the Marketing Council is doing. A high number said that they wanted to contribute and help."
One of the council's aims is to promote the importance of marketing to the Government, Europe and the City. It will also talk to those sectors of British industry that have not invested in marketing in the past, to convince them of its importance and help them define good practice.
It will also look at training and education. Mr Stubbs says that it is treating this with almost evangelical zeal, because currently there is no single approach to defining what industry actually needs from people taking marketing courses.
But will all this have any impact on the public? Mr Stubbs believes it will. He says: "A central principle of marketing is based on the notion that you can target and maintain customer satisfaction, but that requires being able to measure customer satisfaction. Companics may say that they already do that, but very few systematically find out if customers are noticing improving levels of service or if they are changing their views about a company."
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...