Saturday, May 10, 2008

How Much Freedom Do you Really Have as CMOs?

Over the past few weeks I have had a number of conversations with CMOs around the ability to influence change from the CMO position. The conversation always ends with aligning marketing metrics/ROI with overall business objectives and demonstrating business expertise and leadership, not just marketing leadership.

However I have also had a number of discussions with CMOs recently in which small expenditures are required to do their jobs, be it trade show support, small sponsorships, attending industry events, small guerilla marketing initiatives, etc., where I hear “I will need to get my CEOs approval” or “ I have to get approval on that one.” As CMOs we are tasked with leading change in the business, knowing more about our customers than anyone, delivering to ROI commitments, and driving the development of our brand equity. I fully understand the need for good financial management but if you are not allowed the freedom to act within approved budgets, you will end up as a VP or Director level participant with a CMO title. Does your CFO or CIO need to get the same approvals for every day to day spend? If no, then time to step to the plate and be treated as a C Level executive. If they need approval as well, you have a bigger problem.

Just a thought.

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