Editor’s Note: Recently ComplexDiscovery completed its Spring 2019 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey, a survey that highlighted the current business confidence of 180 business, IT, and legal professionals in the eDiscovery ecosystem. Today’s post steps beyond the objective assessment of business confidence as shared in that survey and highlights one of the important tools organizations have for driving confidence and demand for eDiscovery products and services. That important tool being the organizational function of marketing.
Is Your CEO Taking Marketing Seriously? (Indicators)
Extract from an article by Kimberly Whitler as published by the University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Two different chief marketing officers (CMOs) worked for the same Fortune 100 retailer at two different points in time. In separate interviews, the CMOs relayed very different stories about their scope of responsibility, their status in the company and their ability to have a positive impact on firm performance. What differed? They worked for different CEOs.
In collaboration with CMO.com, one of the largest CMO-focused media companies, I conducted the second CMO Impact Study designed to understand how the CEO affects the CMO’s ability to deliver business results.
The outcome from the study suggests that there are five important signs that marketers can use to determine if their CEOs take marketing seriously. These include:
- The degree to which CMOs are included in company-level strategy meetings
- The importance the CEO places on marketing relative to other functions
- The degree of turnover in the CMO position (in an interview with one CMO, his company had had six different CMOs over a six-year period)
- The CEO’s background is marketing/sales or finance/accounting
- The CEO holds the CMO accountable for appropriate measures
Study: CEOs Who Get Marketing A Boon To CMO And The Business (Impact)
Extract from an article by Mercedes Cardona as published on CMO.com
The [Second Annual CMO Impact Study] surveyed 564 business executives, including 223 chief marketing officers or the equivalent, and mostly from U.S.-based firms. It found a correlation between companies in which CMOs have a higher profile and are more involved in overall strategy and firm success. On average, companies with better marketing showed a two-thirds higher market share. The relationship between the CMO’s status and market share relates to the value of prioritizing marketing, [Kimberly] Whitler said.
“Those firms that are better at converting resources into marketing capabilities are better at growing market share,” [Kimberly] Whitler said. “Last year’s study demonstrated that CMOs matter. This year’s study shows that in addition to CMOs mattering, firms that commit to marketing tend to be better at it, which is related to better business results.”
“All of this falls under a basic question that scholars and firm leaders have been asking: How do firms develop a competitive advantage through stronger marketing capability?” she said. “When the CMO is included at the strategic level in the firm, what you’re saying is, ‘We value and prioritize marketing and believe that marketing can contribute to business results.’”
Why CMOs Never Last (Individuals)
Extract from an article by Kimberly Whitler and Neil Morgan as published by Harvard Business Review
How to Improve Outcomes
Although CEOs express disappointment in their CMOs, they typically don’t realize that they may have played a role in creating the problem. By making sure that the CMO job is designed and staffed correctly, they can increase their own satisfaction with their top marketing executive.
Before looking for a new CMO, a CEO should be sure to answer the following questions:
- What outcomes do we want the CMO to produce, particularly in light of the company’s priorities? Which of the three CMO types do we need? How should this person balance out the management team’s strengths (and weaknesses)?
- What functional responsibility is necessary to realize our vision for the role? Will that level of responsibility really work, given other top management team roles?
- What will success look like? What specific key milestones will the CMO be expected to reach?
- What types of skills and experience are required?
When considering this last question, too many CEOs describe someone who is the “best athlete” rather than the best player for the specific position. It’s important to avoid that temptation. For their part, CMO candidates shouldn’t view the job description as a fait accompli. In our surveys CMOs who say their roles are correctly designed often had a hand in crafting them before accepting their jobs. That indicates how critical it is for CMOs to negotiate the specifics of their responsibilities and expectations.
- 6 Signs Your CEO Takes Marketing Seriously: Insight From The CMO Impact Study
- The Stigmatization of Marketing? Why the CEO is Actually the CMO
- The Fabric of Digital Marketing: A Concise List of Tools
- Do You Understand Marketing?