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14 December 2011

News - Are the CIM wrong to call for merger with Sales?

By Ben Turner @ 13:11 :: 2389 Views :: 1 Comments :: Article Rating
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According to Mark Choueke, Editor at Marketing Week the answer is a definite ‘Yes’. In today’s column on, Choueke mapped out the reasons why the Marketing and Sales Fusion that has been presented by the CIM has not has the positive reaction it may have been expecting.

“A merger of the functions ignores the fact that sales isn’t the only key relationship the marketing department should have”

“So why am I not convinced? Well, there’s a lot of stuff in there to unravel. Not least the question of how bloody odd it is that something like this should come out of the CIM (one sceptical senior marketer that we spoke to described it as the marketing body “waving the white flag of surrender” in the face of diminishing budgets).

But the main concern for me is whose job it would be within a joint sales and marketing force to look after the brand. If the measure of success is short-term sales numbers being hit, whose job is it to build the sort of brand power that sees McDonald’s and Coca-Cola as market leaders despite losing out in blind taste tests?

The sales function is vital to any business and needs to be treated as such but I wouldn’t want to leave marketing to a sales director (or, as Mark Ritson argues, the responsibility of sales to your marketing director).

And who is looking after the customer experience? Marketing should be more closely aligned with sales, but a merger of the functions ignores the fact that sales isn’t the only key relationship the marketing department should have.

There’s a reason why we at
Marketing Week argue for marketing to be placed at the heart of the organisation and it isn’t just self-serving. It’s because by doing so you place the customer’s needs at the heart of the organisation - something a lot of us already claim to do.”

We would be keen to hear the thoughts on this development from the sales profession as well.
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comment By Ben Turner @ 20 December 2011 21:18
This subject has caused plenty of debate in the marketing profession, yet the sales profession has said very little - I have a vested interest in this subject matter with my relationship with the ISMM but this development doesn't feel right.

The CIM has been successful being the best and understanding the marketing function well, to the stage whereby sub-marketing functions have also arisen such as promotion or PR.

The sales profession will also grow by copying this model, with existing associations that deal with bid management etc, this fusion subject matter looks to be diluting a message rather than concentrating and specialising in core competencies.

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