Marketing City

Does the CEO Really make it Hard for the CMO to Sustain?

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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Bangalore: CMOs or Chief Marketing Officers are trying hard to find innovative ways to come out successfully with their marketing projects and prove that they are useful to the organization. According to Jack Trout, President of Trout & Partners, a global marketing expert, Crainsdetroit.com, the CMOs are citing the CEOs of their company as their main rivals who are creating difficulties in executing their job. And that must be the possible reason for CMOs to sustain for such a small period of time in most organization.

CMOs have teams that are expert in marketing and branding and produce marketing strategies which will benefit the company. Often when the time comes to budgeting on these ideas, the CFO, Chief Financial Officer cuts out the plans to save on the marketing expenditures. Trout believes that the CFO is more highly placed than the CMO because he holds control over the budgeting in the enterprise. Also, justifying a marketing budget is not an easy task. There is an external problem which is faced by the CMOs often. Trout further explains the problem as given below-

External Difficulty

Suppose the CMO has made a marketing strategy which is ready to be implemented and this is communicated with the advertising agency. which might decide to scrap the idea while trying to be more creative and they may lead to a conflict of interests. Further on, if you try to challenge the agency, the argument will go further and the CEO may have to deal with this whole mess. He in turn may have little knowledge of marketing and may try to implement his ideas on marketing and advertising which may be difficult for a CMO to digest. These are the reasons which make it hard for a CMO  to stay for a long time in the organization.

Strategy of Experts from Other Agencies

Trout here gives an example of his experience of working with CEOs who have taken the lead of marketing strategy in their respective organizations. For example the late Steve Jobs, previously CEO of Apple, took his lead even towards the advertising of Apple products. India’s recent ‘CEO of the year’, Rajiv Bajaj, is also involved in marketing strategies and has succeeded in creating a successful motorcycle company.

To get more of such types of stories and experiences, you can set up an internal strategic conference, where you can invite the other experts from outside and educate the CEO, CFO and the top management people about how they can support marketing. What is undeniable is this- you may have a great product and great services, but an audience will know about its benefits only if you market your product. Marketing is crucial for any brand and sometimes the marketer may have to convince his own organization about the need to take marketing more seriously.


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