Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Its all gone Gus from Drop the Dead Donkey????

Now, I have worked in marketing for over twenty years. I enjoy it, and continue to work within the industry, but what has always confused me is why do we need marketing people for hospitals, councils, government departments etc? Why? Some one tell me?

I am willing to see the sense in that you need communications people, even research people, but why does a NHS hospital need a marketing director on £100k per annum? What marketing strategy are you going to come up with? Who are you competing against? We have a friggin national health service and the prospective customers are dying, literally in some cases due to badly needed funds for doctors and nurses being spent on marketing people, to get into the hospitals?

I was reading today in the good old Nuardiag that council chief officers earn more than the PM! How on earth can that be justified ? The common answer is that they have to compete with the private sector for key people. Really? Is that so.................its not jobs for the boys and girls at all is it? I know for a fact that unless you work in the non profit sector you wont get anywhere for a senior marketing role, and I know that all council chief executives are career local government people. So, why are these people so vastly over paid? Or, with regards to marketing people why do they have jobs whatsoever? Is the private sector going to head hunt local government people? Errr...no.

Can you remember when Thatcher pulled the best con trick known to man by selling the utilities to the British people when we already owned them so she could have so tactical tax cuts just before an election? As soon as the utilities were privatised the senior (ex) civil servants gave themselves enormous pay increases. The logic being was to stop them being head hunted by US companies. Panorama hired a head hunting company to submit the CV's of all these people to US firms to see how many of them would be targeted. Guess how many. Zilch as none of them were considered qualified to even be middle managers in a private utilities company.

When the NHS trusts were introduced they actually made nurse redundant at hospital and recruited administrators and marketing people! What for? Please, if someone out there understands this please tell me. I have interviewed marketing people from the public sector and their skills bases were not transferable to the private sector. Nor, in most cases were their personalities (you don't tend to do 35hrs per week on flexi-time in the private sector shall we say), and I am sure they are admirable people, and its not the individuals I am ranting against but the logic of the situation.

Why do companies need marketing people? Answer to define and implement a marketing mix, to define and research new products, to support sales, to keep ahead of the competition, and to communicate.

Now, where does that come in for a state hospital? Its all Gus from Drop the Dead Donkey hasn't it.

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