Graeme Atha: Blueprint for marketing puts customers at the centre of everything

Graeme Atha. Picture: submitted
Graeme Atha. Picture: submitted
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FINDING new and better ways to respond leads to growth, says Graeme Atha

The Marketing Society is the leading global network for marketing professionals. It promotes the strategic value of marketing as central to the success of organisations and business.

Recently we launched a Manifesto for Marketing Leadership as a blueprint for our industry following input from a wide range of marketing leaders including discussions in Edinburgh led by Peter Duffy , from Easyjet and Nina Bibby from O2.

We believe good, bold marketing inspires organisations to put their customers at the centre of their activities. Leading marketers know what customers want, often before they know it and find new and better ways to respond effectively.

This leads to sustainable growth and ensures the organisation stays focussed on what matters most to customers, motivates colleagues to care and builds a strong reputation for marketing.

Our manifesto is based on doing three things brilliantly.

• Future – creating a shared vision on how to succeed

• Engage – inspiring the organisation to be customer led

• Deliver – creating value for customers


A shared vision will have a guiding purpose and set a stretching goal.

This starts with why your organisation and brand exists and provides a guiding star for current and future colleagues, partners and suppliers with a bold vision of what success looks like.

You need to choose where and how to compete.

Clarify which customer needs you will meet in line with your purpose and assess your organisations most important and competitive capabilities. This will be in line with implications of future trends and will determine where you will compete and how you will win.

The ultimate goal is sustainable growth creating lasting success financially, socially and environmentally.


Leading marketers inspire their organisations to be customer led bringing their needs to life for the senior team and ensuring value creating decisions are met building long term relationships and sustaining board –level interest. Marketers need to be commercially fluent speaking the language of finance and investment. They need to understand margins making a strong business case adjusting plans reflecting any financial constraints.

Engagement means finding creative ways to get the whole organisation involved. This will inspire care about customers and a belief in the brand by listening, learning and delivery


Organisations should create value for customers and earn value from customers

Marketers anticipate what customers’ value and find new ways to create it seeking insights that lead to continuous improvement and significant innovation. They encourage their organisations to be bold and act before competitors by seeing unmet customer needs

Effective marketing shapes the customer experience and inspires people across the organisation to create value at every touchpoint.

Creating difference where it matters and bringing the brand promise to life.

• Graeme Atha is a director of The Marketing Society @graemeatha @MarketingSocSco