What Do Strategic Marketers Do?

An entrepreneur I met at an event recently asked me "what do strategic marketers do". Now I realise a deceptively simple question like this deserves an equally straightforward answer, but later on it struck me how much the marketing world has changed over the last 20 years.

Twenty years ago you could credibly get away with saying something like "advertising" or "promotions". But today, organisations require so much more from their marketing departments - using such one-dimensional labels seems completely absurd.

The Textbook Response for a Knowledgeable Audience
The textbook response might have gone something along the lines of "the strategic marketer’s main responsibility is to identify consumers needs and influence the organisations ability to satisfy them". So their main function is to inform the company's mission, objectives and strategy by giving a voice to customers in the annual planning process, and promoting a market (or better, customer) orientation within the business.

But strategic marketers also co-ordinate and communicate the company's brand image, by attempting to develop a constellation of values and associations around their company's brand. They also gather customer, market and competitor intelligence to assist senior management in identifying attractive, profitable market opportunities. And they assess the organisation’s potential to take advantage of those opportunities.

The Strategic Response for Senior Managers
But there is an even more sophisticated view which takes strategic marketing management as its starting point and looks at the choices and decision systems that support senior management teams in realising their business goals. The main elements of these are:
  1. Precipitating the consideration of strategic choices.
    What is happening externally that is creating opportunities and threats to which a timely reaction is necessary ? What strategic issues face the firm ? What options should be considered?

  2. Forcing a long range view.
    The pressures to manage with a short-term focus are strong and may lead to errors.

  3. Making resource allocation decisions visible.
    It is too dangerous to allow allocation of resources to be dictated by accounting systems, political strengths or inertia.

  4. Aiding strategic analysis and decision making.
    Concepts, models and methodologies are available to help the business collect, analyse and address difficult strategic decisions

  5. Providing a strategic management and control system.
    The focus on assets and competencies and the development of strategic thrusts provide the basis for managing a business strategically.

  6. Enabling horizontal and vertical communication and co-ordination systems.
    Marketing provides a way to communicate problems and proposed strategies within the organisation. Its vocabulary adds precision.

  7. Helping the business cope with change.
    Organisations operate in a rapidly changing and increasingly unpredictable environment and need approaches for coping strategically.

If you need any help or advice putting strategic marketing management into action, call us on 07867 543 296 or email us at by clicking here, we'd be happy to talk through the strategic challenges your company faces.