More than half of Fortune 1000 companies employ a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).* Why is that? They recognize that marketing is more than just a tactical function in the company. It has a seat at the business planning table.
Marketing is most effective when it is a business function that helps set company direction. It is well-versed in the company’s strategic opportunities and challenges. It analyzes trends inside the company as well as the exterior environment. And it sets goals that guide behavior and lead the company to improved marketing results.
Jaclyn Crawford for Forefront Magazine observed this about folks in the C-suite: “They care about potential macro- and micro-economic shifts that would have an effect on their business, customers and competition. They plan ahead about what new and innovative offering will fill the desire of their consumer set. They organize and rally cross-functional groups in order to meet common objectives. They actually build plans, do consumer research, identify ideal growth segments and support forecasts with analytics, to name a few areas of focus.”
Ms. Crawford’s comments reflect the key accountabilities of strategic marketing – the 4P’s: Product, Price, Place and Promotion (aka, the marketing mix). What this means for business owners is that this business discipline provides much more than a logo or web site. Rely on your team to help make strategic decisions about the business.
Managements’ expectations include:
- Develop annual marketing plans. These include goals & measures that drive behaviors and demonstrate a continuous improvement philosophy.
- Facilitate and document strategic planning exercises like the SWOT analysis to discover the company’s next growth opportunity. Then make sure they’re prioritized and acted upon.
- Provide consumer insights based on market research.
- Identify trends that impact the company’s product, channels of distribution and price strategies.
- Manage communications tactics and budget effectively and efficiently.
Your business may not need a CMO. But it does need marketing expertise that can perform at the strategic and tactical levels.
* “Strategic Marketing Problems”, by Roger Kerin and Robert Peterson.