Is Strategic Marketing Management Still Relevant Today?


The rise of marketing as one of the most important business sciences over the past 30 years has been so phenomenal that now most Fortune 1,000 companies have a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Today we take a quick look at the early history of marketing through the lens of what is now the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) which regards itself as “the world’s the leading international body for marketing and business development,” and then pose a question for our discussion.

On May 16, 1911, marketing as a profession began in the UK when 12 individuals met at the Inns of Court Hotel in London and created a new professional association. The Sales Managers’ Association was created to improve sales techniques and set the role of sales on a more professional footing. Formal education in sales began in 1928 and by 1931 the Institute renamed its magazine “Marketing” to stamp the journal as devoted to one of the most important of the business sciences.

In response to changes in the industry in 1960s the Association’s name was changed twice and the College of Marketing was formally founded. In 1976 The Institute of Marketing, the name by which it is still known, approved a definition of marketing that many of us hold even today, “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

STRATEGIC MARKETING                                                                                                                                      By the 1980s the work of scholars associated with the Institute, including Wilson & Gilligan and McDonald, assisted in establishing strategic marketing as a critical specialisation anchored in carefully constructed models. But all that was in and from a time past. Back then the pace of business was much slower. No Internet. No Google. No SEO. No Wikipedia.  No Twitter. No iPhone. No iPad. No talk of content marketing. Some even claim that buying behaviour was more rational then.

Fast forward to 2014 when we are driven by that monster called technology, business is conducted at the speed of light, and everything that we now know is being questioned. So if you will permit me here’s my question: Is strategic marketing management still relevant today; or should we direct our focus to sales management?

Herman Alvaranga is a marketing lecturer and practitioner.



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