Management vs. marketing ~ Brand Mix

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Management vs. marketing

I enjoyed reading Al Ries' latest column in Advertising Age about the velvet curtain that is separating management from marketing. Key quote:

"Nine years ago, when Daimler-Benz bought Chrysler for $36 billion, it was "a landmark deal initially hailed as a blueprint for the future of the global auto industry," according to the International Herald Tribune. What does that sound like to you? To me, it sounds like a typical management take. The marketing take is just the opposite: "A German/American car company selling cheap/expensive vehicles? That doesn't make sense."

Al goes on to talk about some key differences between management and marketing:
1) Management's first thought is usually to expand the business whereas marketing's first thought is to narrow the focus.
2) Management wants to build sales. Marketing wants to build brands.

Perhaps because I have a background in marketing management with a foot in both camps, I have a slightly different perspective. Both management and marketing want to expand the business and build sales but they may have a different ways they prefer to get there.

Management is more inclined to use push programs: price and promotions whereas marketing prefers to get there through pull programs: advertising and brand building.

Still, can't disagree with his last comment:

"When you absolutely, positively need to build your company's brand, hire a marketing expert."

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