Strategic marketing

Strategic marketing

Issue 14 / July 2004

Big, clever and funny (?)

As a devoted enthusiast for the notions of strategy, strategic marketing and strategic marketing planning, I often wonder why these ideas grab me so.
It’s not because I’m an intrinsically sad person who needs to ‘get a life’. Honest. Rather there are three qualities of strategic marketing and strategic marketing planning (let’s call it SMP to save space) that – at one and the same time – I find fascinating, useful and exciting.
First, this is something to do with the fact that SMP is about using marketing thinking and marketing techniques to deliver BIG results relating to BIG issues for an organisation.
Second, the tools, techniques and models of SMP are frequently ingenious and intriguing, as well as offering an innovative way of thinking about the world and changing it. So there can be something CLEVER about it (but not too clever by half).
Then, last, there’s something about strategic marketing that can be dead FUNNY. Now here I don’t mean funny in the sense of rib-tickling or thigh-slappingly comic. (After all, how often has a matrix-based model made you hoot with mirth? Not that often, I’d bet.) No, I mean ‘funny’ in the sense of paradoxical and counter-intuitive. The annals of strategic marketing are replete with examples of small things that make a big difference; of conclusions that subvert and go against received wisdoms, or of ideas that – although initially unexpected – ultimately serve to reshape an organisation’s entire marketing position, posture and approach.
Aspects of this are tellingly revealed and unpacked by my esteemed colleagues Beth Aplin (Catalyst Arts), Ben Blackwell (Clear Channel Entertainment – Sunderland Empire), Orian Brook and Anne Torreggiani (Audiences London), Roberta Doyle (National Galleries of Scotland), Jane Eggleton (Cheltenham Arts Festivals), Caroline Griffin (sampad), Paul Kaynes (Birmingham Arts Marketing) and Ruth Staple (South West Arts Marketing). Alice Devitt (Mongoose Arts Marketing) lets a goat run free and we share a day in the life of Lucy Grierson (Live Theatre Company). I’m intensely grateful to all of them for their frank, perceptive and insightful contributions.
So this edition of JAM illustrates and celebrates strategic marketing and strategic marketing planning. Because when it comes down to it, these areas of thinking and working are big, they are clever and they are funny.
Guest editor: Stephen Cashman
Any thoughts, comments or suggestions for JAM? Please email the Editor, Jacqueline Haxton at

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