MARKETING NEWS: Marketing 'needs to be a service'

The role of the marketing department is fundamentally changing, according to Pete Jakob, marketing transformation leader at IBM, who spoke at B2B Marketing's annual conference on November 11.

He said, "The last five years have seen a great many changes. The expectations people have of marketers are changing. Marketing is expected to be more insightful, give more to customers, provide great brand experience and improve effectiveness.

"Marketing needs to be a service. The days of marketing just flogging stuff, surely, are gone."

Delegates on the day heard presentations from speakers including Richard Evans, director of marketing, EMEA at Silverpop, Andrew J. Buckley, vice-president for product marketing with American Express and Professor Merlin Stone, who spoke of the ways in which he sees marketing developing over the coming years.

The conference closed with a light-hearted panel debate regarding how great an impact the digital shift has had on the world of marketing. A motion arguing the move to web 2.0 was of similar importance to the industrial revolution was narrowly rejected.