Marketeers, stop being just ambassadors

March 14, 2016

Marketeers have too little impact and need to obtain a leading role once more. With the new book "Marketing met Ballen - De 9 bouwstenen voor jouw persoonlijke businessmodel" (Marketing with Balls - The 9 building blocks for your personal business model), Prof. Dr. Rudy Moenaert and Prof. Dr. Henry Robben give them a shove in the right direction.

"The marketing profession has eroded and become communication. We don't have enough clout." Rudy Moenaert, professor at the TIAS Executive Master of Marketing, does not mince his words. According to him, marketeers have come short in managing. It isn't made easy for them either: "Everyone is a marketeer. You can see that with a profession like HR too. Everyone within the organization has an opinion to offer." But marketeers mainly have themselves to blame that they are seen as lightweights.

From the book "Marketing with Balls": "We have imported marketing into our business life and have forgotten that it is not a department but a competence. Behind the doors of the marketing department, we subsequently narrowed this competence down to communication. We finally made the biggest error of all: we allowed the activities of the communications department to be taken as a benchmark for marketing competence."

Courage and entrepreneurship

Marketeers can and must be the architects of the customer processes, argue the authors. They must have a say in important decisions such as pricing practice, distribution, product development and market analysis. "How is it possible that less than 0.4 percent of directorships is occupied by a Chief Marketing Officer?" Time for marketeers to regain leadership. This requires courage and entrepreneurship, the incentive for Moenaert and Robben to write "Marketing with Balls".

Make no mistake: "Marketing with Balls" is no marketing book. It is not about marketing plans or strategy models. It is a book about the marketeer himself. Moenaert explains: "In this book we want marketeers to look at their own person. Because a marketeer who builds a plan for a company, also writes it to develop himself. A marketing plan implies a career plan." Not without reason, the last chapter is entitled: "You as a work of art".


The book mentions nine behavioral principles, such as authenticity, imagination and vision, as building blocks for successful leadership. Moenaert: "With those behavioral characteristics we want to get people thinking. In each of the chapters you can ask yourself: what do I excel in or what can I excel in?" The book activates the reader to self-reflection by posing questions such as: "What are your life's truths?" "What are your central values?" and "What is your vitality?"

"Marketing with balls" is also a plea for nuance. Marketeers are confronted by one digital hype after another, but should glance behind them more often, thinks Moenaert. "We cannot ignore a changing world, but I do want to respect the facts. Do all business models have to become "open"? That is questionable. Our positioning in the arena is now considered to be vital, but let's not lose sight of the customer. And everything is becoming digital, but analog will also continue to be important."

In other words he says, don't forget where we have come from. "With this book we want to inspire without being misleading. Learn from other insights as well, look at what science has to say too."


What does Moenaert want to achieve with the reader? "That you know where your strength lies, what inspires you, what will get you further. For instance, a behavioral element of which you say: I take account of that." In this way the book can offer a new window of thought, a checklist, or help someone on as a leader, just whatever someone is looking for. That can be within all sorts of functions. "Also the IT, financial or HR manager poses himself questions like: what is needed, how will we turn that into actions, and how will I help myself and others get on further with this? That is a universal factor."

Moenaert would like to say to the ambitious marketeer: "Stop being just ambassadors. Marketing with balls: that is no meaningless babble. Then you have made an impact."

Executive Master of Marketing

Rudy Moenaert is professor at the Executive Master of Marketing of the TIAS School for Business and Society. An Executive Master of Marketing helps you comfortably shape defining and profitable marketing policies, based on the latest in academic thinking.

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