Got something new? Think old fashioned. - Because Brands Matter
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Got something new? Think old fashioned.

Marketing plays a huge role in building businesses, driving profits and boosting the wider economy. As an industry however, it isn’t credited as much as it might be with CEOs who are often more than happy to take the credit when sales and market share increases go their way.

Not all industries view marketing the same, however. Studies show tremendous disparity between how different sectors value and understand the worth of marketing.

Whilst businesses operating in fields such as Travel, FMCG and Fashion truly understand the value marketing can bring to their business, there are plenty such as Education, Professional Services, Charity and Technology who do not.

Having worked with all of the above sectors during my career as a marketer, the one that really baffles me is Technology. According to a recent survey, just over 33% of those working in this industry believe they understand the value of marketing.

Let that sink in for a minute, two thirds of businesses who want us to buy or invest in something completely new, cannot see the worth in setting aside a budget to explain what it is that they are bringing to the table. Why is this, I wonder?

Again if I think back to my career, the issue always comes back to the same thing. They don’t see marketing as a commercial investment, they see it as a “nice to have”. If money is tight, we can do without the fancy marketing strategy stuff and just focus on getting sales.

This is where I think we as marketers need to become more precise with our promises and more commercially focused in our explanations. We need to give CEOs the confidence to set aside budget and be prepared to think bigger and better.

We need to remind them that they are probably not the target audience and that even the brightest and best elements of new Technology will not sell a single unit if the potential end user doesn’t know it exists.

In my home city of Edinburgh, we have one of the most entrepreneurial tech sectors in the Western world. We have a vast array of innovation hubs where game changing ideas are being generated on a daily basis.

Although we have had many notable successes in recent years, I believe countless businesses in this city, even this country, are failing to reach their true potential because of a failure to invest in telling their story. A failure to market their products. A failure to build their brands.

My personal challenge for 2018, is to get out there and explain to these businesses and those who invest in them, that marketing and brand building is never just a “nice to have”. It’s the only way of gaining a competitive advantage and becoming the dominant player with their field of expertise.

Marketing may well be one of the world’s oldest professions, but it’s one that can teach the new dog of Technology quite a few tricks.