business strategy | March 14, 2013

Combine Strategy & Marketing To Win: Business Speaker Roger Martin

"The dividing line between strategy and marketing has disappeared in practice," business speaker Roger Martin writes in the Harvard Business Review. That's why the Playing To Win co-author says it's important for business schools and companies to stop marking such a clear distinction between the two departments. "Because companies have fallen in love with specialization in skill development and fragmentation of organizational structures," he writes, "they have followed suit and generally maintain separate marketing and strategy the benefit of no one."

While the two divisions started out as very separate entities, Martin says that the most successful companies have come to see them as being extremely interconnected. "Marketers figured out that the crux of the issue was product, price, promotion and place relative to competition," he explains. Sometimes this meant completely reworking every product in order to find the right place to market it in relation to competition and customer base. On the flip side, strategists came to realize that you need an intimate knowledge of your customer's wants and needs in order to create products that outperform the competition. Both of these points seem fairly straight-forward, but Martin insists that the companies who that win are those who fully commit to the idea that marketing and strategy go hand in hand—and that focusing on one without the other diminishes productivity.

A champion of innovation and business strategy, Martin has been a source of inspiration for business leaders as the Dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. He is a leading voice on the benefits of Integrative Thinking and advocates learning-by-doing. He is also the author of several successful books on business. The most recent of which, Playing To Win—which he co-authored with A.G. Lafley of Proctor and Gamble—focuses on the importance of planning for the future. In his keynotes and lectures he expands on these ideas to help the leaders of today and tomorrow steer their companies to success.

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leadership | March 13, 2013