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7 May 2013

Marketing: A balancing act between magicians and scientists

The orthodoxies of marketing are transforming as is the profile of marketers in 2013. Their expanded role creates confusion and even paralyzes them: What do stakeholders expect from me? How can I prove the added value of my activities? Marketers are out of balance and may be losing their passion for the profession.


In the Yearly Marketing Survey 2013 of The House of Marketing, the comparative study of Marketing Managers and CEOs reveals a huge gap in what they consider as important personality traits of a marketer. Marketing Managers are more focused than ever on hard and analytical skills. They seem to be obsessed with Big Data due to their concern for tangibility. They are therefore paying less attention to creativity, a skill that cannot be underestimated, and as a result risk underperforming in domains like innovation. But aren’t they becoming someone they are not or even don’t want to be? Is this radical change of profile expected?

Apparently not. CEOs tend to value much more the marketing specific skills.Creativity prevails over analytics. They want to see a good equilibrium between hard and soft skills. Empathy and intuition cannot be neglected.

CEOs understand what marketing is about: a balanced combination of making sense out of data and relying on common sense. Intuition can be very powerful because expertise allows to take actions based on instinct. At the same time, campaigns and products should remain state-of-the-art. Of course, this intangibility should be complemented by first-class analytical insights.

An important message for marketers is: Juggle with figures and analyze with a special touch. Work that magic!