Marketing Reflections

Felix Thomson

Content Executive

The Financial Services Forum

Sharpening the focus – or blurring the image?
My original intention for this issue was not to have a specific theme as such, but rather to offer a collection of essays on some general, but not linked, marketing topics – hence the title.
Perhaps it just says something about the fundamental nature of marketing, or the universality of its application, that a number of linkages have nevertheless appeared between the three articles in this central section. Ian Stewart picks up a theme that greatly troubles him as a researcher, and should greatly trouble all marketers, whatever their industry or level or discipline. One of the most insidious and disturbing developments across the whole of society in the past twenty years or so has been the growth of the spin culture and the associated techniques of governance, and management, by focus groups.
Arguably, the chickens are now coming home to roost. Politically, issues such as the weapons of mass destruction saga and the repeated re-definitions of the Chancellor’s “golden rule” seem finally to have convinced most of the men and women in the street that ministers – and opposition MPs – don’t say what they mean, or mean what they say. And in commerce, the situation is much the same. At a fairly trivial level, the continuing stream of DFS sales, all of which “must end this Sunday” probably amuse and confuse customers in equal measure. More seriously, the repeated – and, sadly, continuing – obfuscation at Equitable Life, and the gaps between fine words and delivered reality, have ruined many retirement dreams.
To read the full article, please download the PDF above. 

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