As the role of marketing changes and expands at a rate never known before the profiles of the people doing it have to change too. There are new things to do, new disciplines to master and skills to perfect. Today’s markers have to understand areas like finance, HR and supply chain enough to influence the way they operate within the organisation, because we have come to realise that they are all contributing to marketing. There are also entirely new disciplines, like technological integration, data analysis and strategic development that haven’t featured in a marketer’s job spec before. Today, marketers have to be like Leonardo Da Vinci – creative and technical, equally left and right-brained and how many people like that do you know? Great marketers are very rare animals!

The truth is that organisations that wait for candidates with the breadth of skills marketers need these days, to apply for roles, will be waiting a long time. So long in fact that they’ll probably not survive. Being the complete marketing package is something that, as individuals, we either have within us or we don’t. No amount of training is going to produce Frankenstein’s marketer. There is, however, an alternative and that is what I call corporate aggregation.

If you can’t find a single person with the range of skills you need you must hire a number of people whose individual skills combine to create the whole. It looks expensive of course, but it’s not as costly as submitting to your competition and if you are working with the kind of truly integrated strategy that teams like this are capable of and that businesses worldwide are now turning to, you’ll find more than enough savings and efficiency to cover the investment.

Of course, I am simplifying a little here, because if you just put a random bunch of specialists together you’ll rarely generate any output. You need a process, a way of working and a set of tools to keep it all on track.

I’ve been aware of this growing need for a while now and in response some years ago I created Full Effect Marketing, which I’ve since shared with organisations around the world. You can create your own process, of course, but it’s complicated and plugging into a ready-made template suits most businesses best. It’s quicker and you are more likely to get it right first time.

The Full Effect Company is a group of people with diverse skills, but a common understanding of how businesses work these days. They’ve all signed up to my Full Effect Marketing philosophy and have adopted the tried and tested processes that we have created together that enable us to turn the strategies I create into reality. We come together in tailored implementation teams that can either supplement or replace entirely any organisation’s marketers.

Over the years we have learned to adapt to pretty well any situation. We’ve confined ourselves to creating the fully-integrated end-to-end business strategies that incorporate all that was previously part of an organisation’s separate business and marketing strategies. In other cases we’ve built, trained and managed their existing marketing team, mentoring at every level. In some instances we’ve even replaced in-house marketing departments altogether, at least for a while.

I’m convinced that this is the way forward for the vast majority of businesses. In fact, aggregation is the only alternative to waiting for Leonardo to turn up and other than doing it yourself, with all the delays and pitfalls associated with the unavoidable process of learning on the job, out-sourcing has to be the quickest and most efficient means of transforming a business and making it fit to compete in today’s marketplace.

Phil Darby
January 5, 2015

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