The Dean of the Regent School of Business and Leadership, Dr. Ebenezer Ashley, recently served as a speaker at the Continuous Professional Development Seminar series organised by the Ghana branch of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), United Kingdom.
The seminar which was held at the British Council Hall in Accra, was attended by representatives from academia, business executives from various corporate institutions in Ghana, as well as students and members of CIM.
Dr. Ashley’s presentation was on the theme of the Seminar: "Appreciating Financial Statements for Professional Marketing".
His presentation sought to expound on the important role financial statements play in marketing related functions.
The Dean began his presentation by highlighting some of the conceptual definitions of marketing:
"The Strategic business function that creates value by stimulating, facilitating and fulfilling customer demand. It does this by building brands, nurturing innovation, developing relationships, creating good customer service and communicating benefits." (CIM 2007)
"Marketing involves identification of human and social needs, and putting the necessary measures in place to meet those needs profitably" (Kotler and Keller, 2006)
Speaking on the relevance of marketing to business operations, Dr. Ashley said that marketers ensured the final product meets the specification(s) of customers in terms of size and quality among other requirements. “Marketers ensure the requisite advertisement is carried out’ and the right market is sought for a product” he added.
He emphasised that in order for marketing activities to be effective in the 21st Century, there was the need for marketers to plan, execute, and periodically evaluate the marketing plans and strategies in a disciplined manner.
“Marketers can be more disciplined in the discharge of their marketing duties through the possession of fundamental understanding of the financial implications of the decisions they make” he continued.
Additionally, the Dean explained that Financial statement analysis involved the systematic and thorough review of financial records of a said organisation, in order to facilitate planning, monitoring, and controlling of current and future operations.
He emphasised that knowledge about financial statements made it possible for marketing managers to: analyse the financial situation of their organisations, evaluate alternatives by relying on financial information, engage in financial planning, and ensure financial control.
Analysis of Financial Situation:
According to Dr. Ebenezer Ashley, the analysis of the financial situation of a business using financial statements enabled marketers to assess the effectiveness and smooth-functioning of their marketing strategy by: studying market trends, examining current financial strengths and limitations of the entire organisation. He also said that financial statements enabled marketers to assess a segment or brand of a company and engage in comparative analysis of historical data.
Evaluation of Alternatives:
He further indicated that financial information helped marketing managers examine and make pertinent decisions on competitors, the marketplace, expansion of sales force or intensification of advertisement for products, as well as the introduction of new products and the withdrawal of mature or old products from the market.
Moreover, he mentioned that financial planning with the help of financial statements facilitated the making of projections for activities intended to undertaken by marketing departments. “Effective financial planning allows for the liberalisation of the market, costs and sales forecasting , and the introduction of new range of products” he said.
Touching on financial control, Dr. Ebenezer Ashley indicated that through financial control, marketing managers are able to compare projected or planned results to actual ones.
The Dean of the School of Business also shared light on some of the methods that can be employed in analysing financial statements, as well as the various elements of financial statements.
Using data obtained from the Ghana Stock Exchange, Dr. Ashely demonstrated how the financial statements of Fan Milk Ghana Limited and Ghana Commercial Bank could be analysed and used as a guide for marketing related functions.
About the Chartered Institute of Marketing:
The Chartered Institute of Marketing is the world’s leading professional marketing body offering training and qualification in Marketing and related subjects, focused on Marketing and Sales for business; together with ongoing support for members. With over 35,000 members and students across the world; it seeks to serve as the voice for the marketing community, as well as an active participant in catalysing and shaping the future of the marketing profession.
The professional body has its headquarters in the United Kingdom.