Customer experience expert gives her take on how it all went wrong for the once-powerful global company that lost its brand values.
Common standards needed for fragmented global marketing profession
By our News Team | 2023
Given the increasing extent of expectations being placed on them, marketers must also keep upskilling, conference hears.
The global marketing profession must become less fragmented and have common standards in the same way as pilots, accountants and doctors do. This is according to James Sutton, Strategy and Commercial Director at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in the UK.
He was speaking at the second annual marketing conference of the African Marketing Confederation, which concluded in Entebbe, Uganda on Friday evening.
James Sutton of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in the UK. Photo courtesy of Uganda Marketers Society
Sutton said it was important to avoid the silos in which the profession tends to operate – given that there are corporate marketers, marketing consultants, people who work in agencies, marketing educators, recruiters and others.
He added that it was also important for professional bodies, of which the CIM is just one example, to look beyond just the profession in which it operates. “Their focus must be broader than that, it must be societal,” he explained.
Looking at what is happening on the UK marketing scene now, Sutton said expectations of what marketers ought to be able to do was continually growing. Given the increasing extent of these expectations, it was important for marketers to keep upskilling and for institutions to provide the necessary learning opportunities.
“The CIM must try to meet all these upskilling requirements, which is usually funded by employers,” he noted.
Marketers want to grow their expertise in AI and sustainability
“Artificial intelligence and sustainability are the two big areas where marketers want to grow their expertise, although digital marketing skills also remain in great demand.”
Despite so many upskilling opportunities being offered to UK marketers, there was still a talent crisis in the industry.
“Why? I’m not sure, but organisations cannot find the right people, “Sutton stated. “CEOs in the UK also report that talent is their biggest challenge, although this is not exclusive to marketing and applies to other professions too.”
Attempting to answer the common question of whether AI is a threat to the marketing profession, he said the greater threat would be marketers not adapting to what AI can offer them.
“But we must also stress that AI is not everything,” Sutton emphasised. “We must tell people, ‘If it’s not right for your business, don’t do it’.”
This year’s conference ran from 6-9 September at the Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda. It was hosted by the Uganda Marketers Society in conjunction with the African Marketing Confederation.
The 2024 conference will be hosted by the Marketing Society of Kenya.
Continent set to outpace projected global average and be the second-fastest-growing region after Asia, says macro-economic report.
Gathering is for the growing number of OOH entrepreneurs in Africa who are pioneering new ways to reach increasingly affluent audiences.
At least four global conglomerates have announced they are exiting the country. There are concerns that more may follow.
Youth agency discusses key marketing trends that will resonate with Generation Z consumers in an authentic and impactful way.
Two industry bodies team up to establish clear and consistent definitions and measurement guidelines for ads in Augmented Reality campaigns.
Study emphasises the impact of nostalgia on consumer behaviour, and how typography in ads and marketing material is a key influencer.
News reports say 14 infringement notices are being issued to organisations for contravening consumer-protection laws.
Brands will need to understand and tap into culture in a more nuanced and empathetic way than ever before, says Ogilvy.
This year’s conference and awards dinner takes place at Victoria Falls in May, under the theme ‘Elevate-Innovate-Thrive’.
Kalu has been with the agency since 2016 and brings a wide range of experience and professional expertise to his new role.