Friday, November 13, 2009

CMOs as leaders for the company's growth agenda

The last day of The CMO Club Summit in San Francisco kicked off with a discussion of how CMOs can lead their organization's business growth. On the panel were:
Here are some of the thoughts that came out of the panel discussion:
  • The best CMO is a CEO that believes in marketing. The growth agenda requires needs alignment between those two roles.
  • CMOs are too quick to delegate the strategy of the company's growth agenda. Growth requires vision and courage and that's the principle job of the CMO. Don't let that bubble up through PowerPoint presentations. Lack of system innovation downstream can ruin business growth.
  • CMO has to think more broadly than just marketing if he/she is going to lead growth. For example, at Zappos customer service equals marketing. Shift focus from thinking a "marketing agenda" to "growth agenda."
  • Don't confuse "prolific" with being "successful." Success requires downstream wiring and upstream alignment.
  • Don't be surprised when customers have irrational responses. That's normal. Companies often only prepare for rational responses.
  • Connect the unmet needs of consumers with the assets that exist over the enterprise. This requires cross-business organizations to work together.
  • Marketing as a function will move into a real-time model. You'll be measured on advertising and media effectiveness on a daily and weekly basis. You'll start reading it in real time and making adjustments accordingly.
  • Tech often comes from this attitude of "When we're done with this product, everyone will want it." They don't consider marketing as a function. Yet the Valley is filled with examples of the best product not winning because they had a poor "go to market" strategy.

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