Monday, June 1, 2009

The CMO CLUB: "Insights from CMOs" Book Unveiled - 9 CMOs in the Club Share Insights

One of the highlights from our recent CMO Thought Leadership Summit was the release and sharing of our first "Insights From CMOs" Book developed with the help of Mark Bonchek and his team at Truman Company and 9 CMOs in the club.

CMO Insights - Presentation for NY Summit -19May09.pdf
I spoke with Mark last weeks and here is a recap of our conversation on the interviews and the book.

Mark, there is a lot of buzz in the Club about the CMO Insights book you unveiled at the Thought Leadership Summit in May. Tell CMOs in the club about the project.
As we all know, this is a challenging and exciting time to be a CMO. We set out to better understand how Club members are responding to the economic environment, and how they are positioning themselves and their companies for success now and in the future.

We conducted in-depth interviews with nine CMO Club members on three themes:

§ What are the conversations worth having – with peers, with their team, with their CEO?
§ What are the ideas worth pursuing – as you position yourself for opportunity in 2009?
§ What are the actions worth taking – those that will truly make a difference?

From these interviews we created a compendium of stories, recommendations, and best practices for CMO Club members to use in their own careers and organizations.

Did you find any patterns across your conversations with CMO Club members?
Absolutely. Regardless of the industry or the size of their company, we found five common themes among leading CMOs.

§ First, top CMOs are driving the business through the voice of the customer. As one CMO said, “It’s marketing’s job to make sure that the consumers are at the center of the process.”

§ Second, they are linking marketing investments to more tangible ROI and business value. As one CMO said, “Every time I sit down in front of the CEO or the CFO, I should act like I’m pitching an idea to venture capitalists.”

§ Third, they are viewing marketing as a key agent of change. Note that the types of change varied. Some are moving from selling products to selling relationships, others from being technology-centric to customer-centric, and some from a mid-level buyer to a C-Suite buyer.

§ Fourth, they consider internal stakeholders to be just as important as external customers. Some CMOs are spending up to half of their time educating internal stakeholders on the value of marketing, and they make sure to use the language of business.

§ Fifth, top CMOs are driving short-term revenue while also ensuring a longer term view. They need to deliver results today, but keep in mind that they can’t afford to cannibalize the future for the present.

Did anything particularly stand out for you in your conversations?
One in particular is the power of having what some of the CMOs called “line of sight.” In other words, being able to see all the way from a marketing activity through to a customer sale. One CMO said they can directly attribute 50 to 70% of their sales to specific marketing campaigns. They figure the industry average to be about 15-20%. By having a “line of sight” this CMO has a compelling argument for the value of marketing internally and is able to make more efficient use of his marketing resources.

Our approach is driven by gathering and leveraging executive insights and helping our clients effectively employ the power of conversation in their sales, marketing and relationship-building programs.

Based on the enthusiastic response, we will conduct more interviews and feature a new set of CMOs for the November CMO Club Summit in San Francisco.

Thanks to the CMOs who generously contributed their time and perspectives: Mitch Bishop (iRise), Phil Clement (Aon Corporation), Jean Foster (Neustar), Mike Hogan (GameStop), Chuck Martz (Dow Water Solutions), Heidi Melin (Polycom), Ram Menon (Tibco), Margaret Molloy (Gerson Lehrman Group), John Moser (Denihan Hospitality Group).

More details on Truman company at

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