Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pete Krainik Shares Latest CMO CLUB Poll: Who is Driving Growth Agenda for your Company? CMO? Think Again.

Last weeks CMO CLUB poll question asked CMOs who was driving the growth strategy for their company. Of all CMOs that responded, only 21.4% stated they were driving the growth strategy. 28.6% stated their CEO drives the growth strategy and 25% stated Business Units drive the growth strategy. I was surprised by this number and assumed the number would be closer to 50% for CMOs when I developed the question.

In every CMO CLUB dinner I host, the conversation always includes a discussion on the role of the CMO, where they add value in their company, and how they differentiate themselves within the executive management team. Most CMOs feel they must be viewed as the “Go To” executive on the team for some critical strategic area of the business beyond corporate communications, demand generation expertise, branding, or sales enablement. What is that “Go To” area?

Many CMOs feel we must be THE EXPERT on our customers. No one in the business should know more about our customers (current and future) than the CMO. Anytime there is a question or request for insights on customers all eyes should look to the CMO.

Others feel they must be THE EXPERT in articulating the value prop for the company, products and services. Other CMOs feel they must be THE EXPERT in approaches for engaging customers.

A few weeks ago at our Atlanta CMO CLUB dinner, a definition of marketing (and the CMOs top priority) was shared that Marketing (and the CMO) are responsible for developing and driving the growth agenda for their company. I loved the discussion and have come to the conclusion that being the “GO TO” executive on customer insights, engagement, etc. are requirements for a seat at the table, but delivering on the growth agenda for your company is the key differentiator for the best CMOs in the industry. Think how you would answer this weeks poll question and then determine what you need to do to make sure the answer is CMO in the future.

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