Archive for the ‘Mktg – Organization’ Category

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

October 28, 2011

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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Four Ways CMOs Can Gain Power

August 11, 2011

A spreading sentiment these days is that marketing (and CMOs) are being marginalized ….  confined to tactical roles in communications and sales.

Here’s a take from that suggests ways CMOs can elevate their (and their organization’s) clout.

 Marketing executives have an image problem, and it begins with the very definition of “CMO.”

CMO power is the ability to influence allocation of resources and other major strategic decisions within the top management team.

“We see CMOs get stuck in a pure communications role versus one that is at the heart of the business.”

Indeed, failure seems to infect the CMO suite, with the average tenure of chief marketing officers being less than two years.   

So, how does a CMO amass power”?

In his most recent study, Professor Mahajan (UT-Austin) identified four other ways CMOs can gain power:

1. Articulate a company vision in the face of industry instability.

When business is a roller-coaster ride, top management teams better appreciate the market and consumer perspectives of the CMO.

“Vision needs to be articulated.”

2. Lead innovation.

“The key to success, in many cases, is being able to position yourself as an agent of transformation.”

3. Personify the voice of marketing experience in the C-suite.

It’s hard for CMOs to feel the love when others on the executive team think they could do it better.

4. Take bottom-line responsibility for sales.

Marketing has generally been granted long-term accountability rather than responsibility for quarterly results.  Mahajan found that CMOs with bottom-line responsibility wielded more power than pure marketing or communications executives

Ken’s Take: Points 1 to 3 are blah, blah, blah. Focus on point number 4.  Without conspicuos bottom line attentiveness, marketing execs will invariability lack credibility and clout.  You have to be taking the heat if you want a seat at the kitchen table,

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