October 13, 2016

Make marketing your focus

Anne Korkiakoski

is a marketing and communications professional, who is a member of the board at nine companies/organisations.

We Finns are well-known for our high standards of education and outstanding innovations. Yet, we are still not reaping the full commercial benefits of these. We don’t invest enough in marketing – product development, commercial potential, sales or marketing communications.

Finnish companies’ products and services mainly rely on low price or technical qualities. Too often, we are unable to see other differentiators in the market – for example, impressive design, user experience or strong brand. These more demanding competitive edges would create an opportunity for higher prices – price premium.

Many Finnish companies still see marketing as a support function, delivering marketing communications actions and tools. We should see marketing as a more central and strategic process, having a deep understanding of customer needs and being in charge of the delivery process of customer experience.

Currently, local companies use only half the money and resources on marketing compared to those in other countries. For example, Swedish companies invest significantly more in marketing and media. It is not only about the know-how or quality of marketing but its quantity and volume too.

The only media and marketing expenditure that is clearly growing in Finland when compared to other countries is digital marketing channels and customer relationship management databases. However, the absolute level is still lower than what it is in competing countries and companies.

Finnish companies are keen to invest in marketing tools and actions that are related to digital tools and platforms. Finns have great faith in technical solutions – and it is so with marketing too. That is good, but it is not enough if we invest only in technical, rational tools in marketing – machines can’t cover it all from A to Z in marketing. We need human beings and emotions too.

We have a mission to encourage Finnish companies to invest more in marketing, since only then our know-how, technology, innovations, products and services enjoy the success that they deserve. This is the best way to support Finnish economic growth and the welfare of our society.

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