It seems James Dyson has fallen for the old clichÃ©: ‘It’s too important to be left to the marketing department’ (News, DW 14 October). As a marketer, I concede that there is a tendency in some marketing departments to adopt the stance of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, and assume the authoritarian control which holds in check the chaotic masses of design, production and sales.
If Hobbes was right, the life of company departments is a ‘war of each against all’. The accounts department clamours for ascendancy over sales, which spars with marketing, which challenges production, and so on until there’s only one man standing.
But life’s not like that. If the culture was different at Dyson, it would understand the value of the division of labour – several specialist departments working in harmony to create a greater whole. In this culture there is respect and trust between departments, each knows which advice to take and which to ignore, no egos allowed. By actually preventing marketing and design from communicating Dyson is making certain that this trust will never be established.
I would never discourage a little job-swapping, but only a little. In a properly structured organisation it is marketing people who should be in the shops, using their knowledge of customer experience and the psychology of what makes people buy to gather quality intelligence to brief the designers.
If the marketers at Dyson are not in this loop, what on earth is he hiring them for?
Let me guess, to prevent GRAPHIC designers doing their jobs. Now if only they would keep away from… Oh, never mind.