De Beers is splitting its marketing and sales departments, a move that may affect its future advertising plans.
In most companies, the sales and marketing functions work together, but De Beers does not have a conventional business model. “Sales” refers to how it divides rough among its clients; “marketing” refers to the advertising and promotion of finished diamond jewelry.
When De Beers launched Supplier of Choice in 2003, the two became intertwined, as DTC clients were judged on their marketing efforts. The DTC’s Business Initiative was designed to encourage clients to do co-op advertising for DTC “beacons” like the three-stone ring and Journey products.
Supplier of Choice II has eliminated the Business Initiative, and some say the marketing/sales split indicates that the DTC will no longer judge its clients based on marketing. DTC officials have said that while marketing remains “intrinsic” to Supplier of Choice, it now evaluates sightholders on the entirety of their businesses.
Spokeswoman Lynette Gould said the change will make the marketing and sales divisions more focused on their core tasks. “We believe that having separate divisions, with separate management structures, will enable us to focus more on maximizing value for our clients and producer partners,” she said.
She added that the new marketing department will concentrate on three things: “big ideas” like Trilogy (the Japanese version of “three stone”); the Forevermark, its proprietary insignia that it has been testing around the world; and maintaining consumer confidence.