There is an unfortunate, not to mention utterly baffling reality occurring in organizations today of all different sizes, scopes and industries: the under-appreciation of the function of Marketing as a significant and valuable force in conducting successful business. Instead of seeing Marketing as it should be, that is, a powerful engine of research, innovation, development and communication, the Boards often misjudge it as a pseudoscientific art that has little impact on their bottom line.
The Boardroom is where the overall business goals are introduced, discussed, reviewed and approved, and yet quite commonly, a Board Director with a background in the function that is the muscle power of developing corresponding strategies and tactics to achieve these very goals- i.e.: Marketing- is completely absent. Board Directors with the typical Financial, Operational or Legal backgrounds are not familiar with and therefore do not appreciate such vital activities as communicating directly with customers, developing brand image campaigns or conducting research on customer behavior in order to determine how best to position the product- a Marketing professional however is. Whilst Financial, Operational and Legal backgrounds are strong contributors on the Board, it is time to emphasize the missing gap: the strategy driving Marketing function.
The root of the issue essentially boils down to an underlying misunderstanding and undervaluation of what a Marketing Board Director can contribute.The article, A Seat at the Boardroom Table, mentions that Robert Colquhoun, the Managing Director of Alexander Colquhoun & Son, admitted he referred to Marketing as “practitioners of the dark arts.” My own father, Neil Melotti, CFO of Grace Worldwide, referred to Marketing as “The ministry of good times and novel contributions.”In order for a Board to see the value of a Director with a Marketing perspective, the value of Marketing’s contribution to organizational success must be correctly demonstrated.