Are You Lost, CMO? This Is the C-Suite
“Most CMOs are the ‘keeper of the brand,’ ” Reibstein says. “Yet ‘brand value’ doesn’t show up anywhere on the balance sheet. Again, this is fairly surprising given the data suggesting that brands are contributing more and more to overall firm value. If I were a CMO, I would want to understand how I’m contributing to growing brand value and would then want to share this with the top management team and board.”
Similarly, CMOs attract and retain one of the company’s biggest assets — its customers. [Editor’s note: Many marketers also significantly contribute to the bottom line, which involves another merging responsibility — sales.] While Reibstein suggests marketers work with finance to get the customer value numbers to bring to the CEO, Marketing-Interactive.com says marketers should gain their own finance skills.
2. Be Fearless or Be Gone. Reibstein says the marketers who aren’t at the table may be afraid of being held accountable. “The irony is that without demonstrated value, they are actually more at risk of being fired,” he says.
3. Don’t Wait to Be Invited. CMOs have the power to force the invitation to the table, he says.
4. Stay ‘Big Picture’ in Meetings. Talk about driving firm strategy and growth with marketing’s unique insight into customers, the marketplace and competitors in order to create “superior” products, services and customer experiences. Leave the nitty gritty in the marketing department. “When marketers have been relegated to firm implementation (e.g., ad development and promotion tactics), they have been marginalized and don’t have the requisite insight to be relevant in strategic discussions,” Reibstein says.
Yu says something similar.
“If the career path for a data scientist ultimately leads to chief data officer or chief analytics officer,” he writes, “it is important for the candidates to understand that such “chief” titles are all about the business, not the IT. As soon as a CDO, CAO or CTO start representing technology before business, that organization is doomed. They should be executives who understand the technology and employ it to increase profit and efficiency for the whole company.”
Related story: Can You Prove the Value of Marketing to the C-suite?