Despite the strategic business value that ‘professional’ marketers add to an organisation, there is often a lack of confidence in the profession or a poor understand of marketing – which is not just advertising, digital and execution tactics. The truth is, in addition to a public perception problem, marketers themselves are having an image crisis. Here Australian Marketing Institute chairperson Lynda Cavalera gives insight into how marketers can work to improve their perception and instead gain recognition for their professional standards of integrity.
With marketing being such a diverse profession, it would be unfair to make generalisations around the current state of mind of marketers and how this impacts the profession. However, a recent study commissioned by the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) in partnership with Engine Group and Niche Media identified that marketers think they have a public perception problem. So, what does this mean?
Of the marketers that participated in the study, more than half believe that there is a poor perception around the profession’s credibility and skills.
In some organisations, marketers are encouraged to be strategic partners, while in other organisations the marketing professionalism is undervalued and its impact is diluted. The question is, how does this reflect on marketing professionals and their public perception?
How do marketers improve their public perception?
One key finding from the study was that participants wanted greater leadership from industry bodies to drive perception improvement.
There was also strong agreement that continuous professional development is essential in the improvement of the industry’s reputation. One way to do this is to support the industry associations, such as the Australian Marketing Institute and be actively involved in its community. It is also vital to ensure we keep a growth mindset, remain curious and continuously seek to develop our experience and keep it up-to-date.
The key to fostering trust, innovation, responsibility and respect for our industry is being certified as a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM). The CPM title is the trust mark of a professional marketer. It is earned through ethical behaviour, depth of experience and currency of knowledge. But most of all, it’s the respected sign of distinction of a marketing professional who continually strives to further their practice through leadership, innovation, and continuous learning. This is a badge to be worn proudly by marketers as it differentiates competent marketing experts from non-qualified marketers while promoting the industry.
Where is the marketing profession heading as we enter the new decade?
There have been significant changes to the marketing profession in the last decade and I could argue that it is one of the professions that has changed the most.
In the last decade, we’ve seen organisations being more interested in digital and short-term tactics rather than being strategy led, with a channel neutral and a whole of sales funnel approach. We’ve also seen a focus on digital optimisation at the expense of a customer-led approach underpinned by creativity and ROI.
As we enter the new decade and expect more change, it’s incumbent on us, as marketers, to ensure we are ready to meet these changes as a profession, while leading this decade from the forefront. As the peak association for marketers, the Australian Marketing Institute aims to do this through our educational seminars, Marketing programs and recognition of Marketing Excellence.
As the natural custodians of a brand, its trust and the customers, we as marketers must strive to shift the conversation around enhancing the reputation of professional marketers and build greater confidence amongst employers and the community by highlighting the role we play in creating sustainable customer-led organisations who drive revenue growth.