An update from the Knowledge Development Committee

When I was informed that I had been elected as Junior warden Elect, I was filled with emotions of pride and privilege. I look forward to helping to continue supporting the Worshipful Company of Marketors. My only regret being that I will have to do step back from my position of Chairman of the Knowledge Development Committee (KDC).

The KDC has been operating for just under two years, and I am delighted with the progress it is made. More importantly I have thoroughly enjoyed the contributions all of the team within the KDC. The fellowship and enjoyment that we have all experienced has made these two years very special for me.

If we look at what has been achieved by the KDC, it may be appropriate to first of all look at the objectives we set ourselves when reforming this committee. The objectives agreed and circulated are detailed below

‘The objective of the Knowledge Development Committee, is to promote the value and raise the profile of marketing to organisations, regardless of their size or market sector

This committee aims to bridge the gap between academia and practice by producing a series of, white papers, (an authoritative report that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter. In business, a white paper is close to a form of marketing presentation, a tool meant to persuade customers to promote a product or viewpoint), opinion pieces (articles published in a newspaper or magazine that mainly reflects the author's own opinion about the subject. These are frequently published in periodicals and are usually strongly worded .and blogs (platforms where a writer or group of writers share their views on an individual subject. They can be about any topic and express your opinion from every day activity such as waking up to major issues such as human rights and climate change. Blogs promote reader engagement and readers get a chance to comment and voice their different concerns). aimed at not only assessing key and current marketing challenges and opportunities, but also to stimulate dissuasions, with the output being ‘what are the implications of this topic for ‘Marketors?’

It is the objective of the committee to produce 12 pieces during the year, which will not only be published in the Marketor and featured on our website, but communicated to the wider Marketing Audience, via articles, published papers, internet, at conferences, seminars or discussion meetings.

In order to achieve this the KDC must work closely with the Communications Committee and Whiteoaks in order to achieve maximum impact from these pieces of work. ‘

So How did we do?

We commissioned and delivered a short paper relating to the potential impact of big data on the role of marketing. In order to facilitate this we have listed the help of two leading academics from Cranfield Business School. A summary of this research together with the ‘so what’ are the implications of this the marketing, as seen by the KDC are also contained with this issue of Marketor.

One of the things I found most interesting about our analysis of the implications of the outcomes of this research was that they varied from the interpretation that the authors of the research would have put on these findings.

In my opinion this highlights my view that marketing is an art form and not a science, and that different people, depending on their background, experience and a priori expertise will see different things from the same data. You can gain access to the full report from the WCM website and form your own opinion relating to that ‘so what’ question stop.

In relation to spreading the word of both the value of marketing around the board table and indeed the value of the WCM, the inroads we have made into this have been significant. This has been due particularly to the efforts of Prof Malcolm McDonald, who has represented the WCM presentations he has made at the BAM ( British Association of Management), conference Aston University where he was keynote speaker, a presentation to the Levitt group in the centre of London which generated 17 applications for mentoring and his presentation at the Brand Museum relating to brand value.

One of the other objectives was to facilitate the commencement of the members of the WCM, issuing one blog a month on current and relevant marketing issues. The terms of reference for this and the management process to commence this are now awaiting approval prior to commencement.

The KDC developed a questionnaire for students that completed at the recent City Careers Fair that the WCM attended at the Guildhall. This was received successfully by the hundred and seven students to complete the questionnaire. Rather than just leaving it at that one of the KDC, Dr. Sunila Lobo, is analysing the feedback from this limited research, in order to try and identify any potential emergent themes.

In relation to helping raise the profile of marketing around the board table, we have with the help of David Elmer, Ian Ryder, David Pearson, Omaid Hiwazi, Malcolm Macdonald and Mike Ricketts, we have helped to form closer links with Oxford, Cambridge and Aston universities as well as the CIM.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the team within the KDC for their support and contribution. The quality of the debates that we have had both at the formal meetings, but more importantly at the informal meetings, have been some of the best I have experienced in relation to the value of marketing. I am confident that with such a good team on board this work which has only just started will be continued and taken to the next level.

As a final note I would ask any Marketors that are interested in contributing to the KDC, perhaps not on a full-time basis, but specifically int areas that they have expertise and interest in to let us know in order to continue to facilitate the quality of work that is being produced.

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