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Without a marketing department, how do you market?

Can you tell me what makes your brand special and how it competes with others? How do you convince customers to buy something new? Furthermore, how can this be accomplished without some kind of advertising division?

Oatly‘s Chief Creative Officer, John Schoolcraft, has the details.

Together with CEO Toni Petersson, Schoolcraft launched the transformation of its 30-year-old oat drink manufacturer into a global movement in support of a more sustainable way of living in 2012.

Schoolcraft devotes most of his discussion to elaborating on the ways in which Oatly’s marketing strategy diverges from those of competitors. He proposed disbanding the marketing division in favour of a group of artists.

He said, “It’s an entirely different system.” A creative’s approach to advertising, content production, and communication differs from that of a marketer’s. If we take Schoolcraft at his word, marketers are “approvers” while artists are “makers.”

He then brought up the marketing department’s obsession with numbers as a source of the industry’s difficulties. He said, “What people don’t realise is that all companies are drawing from the same data, which implies that they’re all doing the same thing.” Conversely, he emphasised, “creatives are by nature rooted in culture, and they find inspiration elsewhere.”

It’s important to note that this doesn’t imply Schoolcraft recommends that every business eliminate its marketing department. However, he thinks that smaller businesses should put an emphasis on hiring brand creators rather than data analysts.