Maybe marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department …

History has it that David Packard (of Hewlett-Packard fame) was the first to say that “marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department”.


Seth Godin – of “All Marketers are Liars” notoriety — has been echoing the Packard theme for years.

Recently, the McKinsey Quarterly published an article “We’re All Marketers Now”.  The thinly veiled message: “marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”


Since marketing was the central hub of business activities at the companies where I worked, I just shrugged off the critiques.

But, some data has come to light that supports the Packard theme.

IBM’s interviewed 1,734 CMOs in 19 industries and 64 countries to better understand their goals and the challenges they confront.

According to the report, the respondents came from a wide variety of organizations, including 48 of the top 100 brands listed in the latest Interbrand rankings.

Here’s the finding that hit me hard:

If CMOs are to be held responsible for the marketing returns they deliver, they must also have significant influence over all four Ps: promotion, products, place and price.

Surprisingly, this is often not the case.

CMOs told us they exert a strong influence over promotional activities such as advertising, external communications and social media initiatives.

But, in general, they play a smaller role in shaping the other three Ps.

Less than half of all respondents have much sway over key parts of the pricing process, for example.

Similarly, less than half have much impact on product development cycles or channel selection.

Apparently many companies have, in fact, concluded that marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.


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