Sales and marketing no longer separate divisions, says NAB marketer

Marketers perform the same role as sales people, National Australia Bank’s general manager of consumer marketing has said, insisting any difference between the two divisions was an outdated concept.

Kevin Ramsdale said he and his team have sales targets to hit and must explain where the marketing dollars are spent and what they have achieved.

Speaking on the AANA’s Marketing Dividends, a three-minute weekly segment on Sky News Business, Ramsdale said sales and marketers and can no longer be viewed as separate divisions.

“We will be crystal clear about the sales we generate for the marketing investment,” he said. “I have a sales target. I will talk to the guys running various product streams of the business and me and my guys will sign up to a sales target of their overall target for the year. And we can do that through the power of data and analytics.

“Particularly these days with the increasing rise of digital…. if you think about it as a channel and this always-on nature of a brand, which is always present and providing information, marketing is sales. This paradox of being two separate divisions is a real legacy. Marketing is sales. We are allocated investment to get an outcome, to get growth.”

He said the best way to win credibility at board level is to demonstrate results from the marketing activity and by delivering on the brand purpose and by being competitively different.

Demand generation and growth were key along with “transparency about where the investment goes and what outcomes the investment generates”.

“We are very conscious that if you’re not explaining how you are different, consumers won’t want to stay with you, they won’t want to use your product or services,” he said.

“We take the view that if you have a parity purpose you are not going to drive above parity growth, so I actually don’t see purpose and brand growth as mutually exclusive. They are actually inextricably linked. The key issue is how much of your budget do you put behind purpose based perception changing activity and how much are you putting in direct response demand conversion today?”

Ramsdale also stressed need to remain creative in marketing and to link that creativity with data.

“You have to remain creative. Creativity is about understanding what is happening in the market place, about listening and having a sense of curiosity about what customers want,” he said. “You always have to be creative…to have message cut through.

“My personal view is that marketing now has an ally in data. It’s about how those two work together and not to think one is the paradox of the other.

“The minute you lose creativity you lose your ability to differentiate, if you lose your ability to differentiate you lose your ability to compete and if you lose that you can’t grow.”

Steve Jones


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