Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CMO Club May '08: CMOs live longer - career management panel

The CMO Club "You're Not Alone Anymore" Summit closed with an open roundtable discussion about how to manage your job as a CMO. Discussions ranged from dealing with sales, recruiting employees, and maintaining your individual marketability for the next CMO job. On the panel were (in order in picture) Dave Kellogg, CEO of Mark Logic (ex-CMO of Business Objects),
Jarvis Crowmell, CMO of StormExchange, and Barry Herstein, CMO of Paypal.

Here are some of the insights discussed:
  • Once you live in the world of packaged goods, the spectrum of marketing changes. You're tarred with a certain kind of brush.
  • In consumer goods marketing there's a highly efficient "go to market" process. In Silicon Valley, no such thing. It's a mess.
  • Marketing is struggling for relevance. Product and sales groups are very powerful. Marketing gets relegated to a communications role.
  • Biggest career management mistake I made was spending too much time doing my job and I spent less time talking to recruiters. Cultivate those relationships. Pursue internal recruiting groups.
  • Put yourself in the path of success. Make it clear what you're going for. What is the skill set you're going to enhance in the new job.
  • Present yourself as a business person, not a marketing person. Be with a successful company. People will ask you why you stayed so long with a losing company.
  • Build your brand. What's your story? Do a resume, but then do a ten point skill set inventory
  • The issue of acquiring and retaining talent. There's an unnatural level of turnover in Silicon Valley. To deal with it, you work every single network you can. Leverage the people you work with who are great.
  • When recruiting, ask for someone who will give them a bad reference. It's very telling. The person will squirm to try to give it to you. And sometimes they'll never give you a bad reference or they'll give you a BAD bad reference.
  • Your job is to make sales easier. Don't be in the way. Surprisingly it's very hard to get that alignment.
  • Know the times you live in. Surprising very few companies are working to develop trust with their customer base.

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