Marketing’s role in the boardroom

Marketers and boardrooms have always had an uneasy relationship. So for marketing to become a truly strategic resource, there needs to be greater understanding on both sides of the table. The Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Iggy Pintado points out ways of fostering this critical understanding.

As general manager of Member and Marketing Services for the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Iggy Pintado keeps executives informed and up to date with current marketing trends.

“Ironically enough, marketing has created its own perception of what marketing is: the Mad Men glamour of people putting a spin on stuff, where marketing is more art than science,” Pintado says. “What boards need to understand is that marketing is becoming more of a science. So it requires discipline and governance to make sure it’s done effectively and efficiently.”

ROI is not a dirty word

“Marketers keep using marketing speak instead of business speak. You shouldn’t hide from discussing return on investment, for example. If you’ve got a budget of millions of dollars, you have to equate that to some sort of return. You can’t avoid talking about revenue or linking a campaign to generating dollars. The board is looking for how the marketing activities equate to their corporate and financial objectives.”

Pintado says it shouldn’t be hard to translate a marketing message into a business one. “No one can argue with facts, right? So one of the critical parts of a marketing plan is to identify opportunity with the good old-fashioned SWOT analysis. Once you’ve identified the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, it’s much simpler to present how to address those opportunities and what needs to be done about mitigating those threats.”

The role of the boardroom in marketing

This isn’t all one-way, of course. Boards also have to stay informed and remain open to new ideas if marketing is to achieve the financial and corporate outcomes they expect.

“The role of the board is to make sure that, whatever the strategy is, it becomes a business strategy and not just a marketing strategy. Only then can it become something executable and appropriately resourced. It has to be supported at board level to guarantee its execution and success.”

Catch Iggy Pintado as part of an expert panel discussing ‘Marketing’s Role in the Boardroom’ at this year’s AMI Annual Conference on October 16-17. Find out more about the conference on the AMI conference page.

Click here to check out the our eBook Marketing in the Boardroom.

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