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Retail analyst Bruno Monteyne is no stranger to the value of marketing having spent 10 years as Tesco’s supply chain director. But while he “respects” the role he believes more must be done to help other departments understand what it does as it “remains a bit of a mystery”.

Now senior analyst for European Food Retail at Bernstein, Monteyne continues to believe marketing is critical to business success but he urges marketers to do more to define its purpose and benefit to other parts of the company.

Here he tells Marketing Week what he thinks marketers must do to be heard.

More definition needed

As somebody from the physical sciences, I would say marketing is one of the least well defined areas of business. On the one hand, it is the most critical element as thinking about customers and what they want is crucial to success. But often you get very fluffy people talking about marketing in a way that makes no sense and it causes culture clashes within big businesses.

Analysts don’t ask lots of questions about advertising at results briefings because there’s almost no tangible information on it. Companies are cagey and it’s a shame. Every other department can quantify success or failure more easily. For example, if you’re in charge of stock, you just need to look at what’s on the shelves or if you’re in finance, then the accounts will tell the story. Marketing remains a bit of a mystery.

We will occasionally write about advertising and we covered the fact Lidl was spending more on TV and press than Tesco a few years back. But as an analyst my job is to analyse and project, and I have very little information from marketing to analyse or project on.

When I worked at Tesco, marketing was a very strong department and I grew to respect its role a lot. I was lucky to work under Terry Leahy, who was a marketer at heart and used Tesco Clubcard to ensure customer data was at the core of the business.