Is The Marketing Department Important To You? I Don’t Think So

Read the signs here.

Azleen Abdul Rahim


The trend of simply appointing just anyone to lead the marketing department is worrying. This is what I personally feel. Sincerely I just do not know how and where this thing started. After years of observing the local businesses here in Malaysia, be it small or big, it seems that these companies are entrusting their marketing strategy, tactics and executions to individuals who do not have an in-depth background in the subject. I’m like, wow.

Read the signs carefully, here. The list may or may not describe you, yet these are facts.

The marketing team is being led by a non-marketing strategist

As a matter of fact, I’ve followed through this observation with a little fact-finding journey by meeting up with more than 20 people leading a marketing team. Some are called Head of Marketing and Director of Marketing, while others are named Chief Marketing Office or General Manager, Marketing. And, out of 20 individuals I met, only 3 of them have an in-depth knack of marketing strategy experience, knowledge, qualification and skills. The other 17, they were appointed from other departments internally.

What on earth is going on here? If I had a car problem, I would definitely go to the right workshop to take a look at my car. And, obviously, the shop I’m going to must have 4 main things — qualification, experience, skill and knowledge of the ins and outs of the car type I’m using. These will make them reliable as they are the real-deal subject matter experts. Every workshop usually has one expert they are relying on who knows about certain car types.

Now back to the topic, I can sense that something is not right here about those companies that allow those individuals to lead the marketing department, instead of a marketing strategist.

Who or what is a marketing strategist actually? FYI, this individual is a visionary person who not only knows the ins and outs of all marketing elements available but is also able to connect them into a meaningful strategy for the company to win. The person is responsible for ensuring the overall corporate or business strategy can be translated into a marketing strategy…