The following is an article excerpt…

by Beth Comstock, Ranjay Gulati, and Stephen Liguori

Just 10 years ago General Electric had no substantial marketing organization. For decades the company had been so confident in its technologies that it seemed to believe the products could market themselves. People designated as marketers were assigned to sales support (lead generation and trade shows, for example) or communications (advertising and promotional materials). In discussions about corporate strategy, marketing wasn’t at the table. At best it was considered a support function; at worst, overhead. In a few GE businesses, such as appliances and the former plastics unit, marketing was a viable contributor; but in most of the others, its brilliant minds were languishing in dead-end jobs.

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