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  1. Why is marketing important and what role does the marketing association play?

Marketing is one of the most important things that a business can do to develop and grow. The practice of marketing goes back millennia, having first appeared in dictionaries in the sixteenth century.

Since then, marketing – both as a concept and in practice – has developed a great deal as Western economies industrialised and branded goods started to be distributed on a much wider level.

This led to the development of the mass market mindset, where manufacturers created standardised products to achieve economies of scale and early market penetration.

Over time, different schools of thought have developed around marketing practice but the aim remains the same – to raise brand awareness, increase sales, engage with target audiences and, ultimately, grow the business.

According to management, marketing and innovation guru, Peter Drucker, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, [that] the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

To achieve this, Drucker believed that businesses had two basic functions – marketing and innovation, with marketing representing the ‘unique function of the business.’

It is this unique function of the business which has developed and grown throughout the twentieth century into what has now become a well-respected and integral part of the business function.

But it hasn’t been an easy road for marketing as a profession and marketing associations have played a significant role in achieving more recognition for it as a key strategic player in the growth of business and economies.

Much remains to be done, however, and it is the role of the marketing association to continue to develop high standards and professional integrity in marketing.

For many marketing associations, this is achieved through the development of marketing as a practice, supporting marketers in their professional development whilst lobbying for a strategic place for marketing at the board table.

Working together with marketing associations across Europe, this is exactly what the European Marketing Confederation does – developing, setting and maintaining standards within the marketing industry.

We do this in several ways – bringing together membership organisations with a specific focus on marketing to share knowledge, exchange information and expand professional networks.

We also offer a unique European qualification and certification framework called EMCQ, which gives marketers access to accredited marketing, sales and communication qualifications which are recognised across Europe.

But marketing isn’t just for marketers – there should be an understanding of the role it plays throughout every echelon of a business, from those welcoming customers at a reception desk, to senior management and the Board.

Recognising this, and the benefits that a pan-European marketing network such as EMC creates, the Malta Institute of Management (MIM) recently became our newest member.

We spoke to them about what marketing means to them as a not-for-profit professional body representing managers and those aspiring to work in management.

Reuben Buttigieg, President of MIM said:

“Acquiring management and business skills is vital to face the challenges that globalisation poses to businesses – and marketing has a key role to play here.

“In a similar way to us, marketing associations develop the profession and the people within it, for the benefit of business and the wider economy. That is why we wanted to come together with EMC to help share marketing knowledge and expertise with our aspiring manager members, who contribute so much to the Maltese economy.”

With the development of new marketing trends such as digital relevance, artificial intelligence, marketing automation and big data, there is a great deal of knowledge to share.

As such, the educational role of marketing associations has never been more important, and it is vital for associations to continue to support their members through ongoing training and professional development.

Not only does it help marketers to keep abreast of the latest developments in the sector, enabling them to maximise new techniques and deploy new technologies, it also leads to a more motivated workforce, and overall improved business performance.

To find out more about how EMC can help your marketing association to share knowledge, expand professional networks and improve the quality of marketing by your members, don’t hesitate to get in touch.