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The Secret to Getting CMOs Off the Endangered Species List

Marketing strategies increase ROIWithin the last couple of years, Business Week and Fast Company have both published articles discussing the short life-span of CMO’s.

According to research by Spencer Stuart, an executive-search firm, the average tenure for top-consumer branded company CMO’s was only 23 months, compared to CEO’s that lasted an average of 54 months.

This should concern us as marketers. Why are CMO’s under such fire and how can we as marketers keep our jobs?

How Can Everyone Work Together

Marketers have some challenges stacked against them. First of all, our efforts are more visible and advertising and promotions are publicly scrutinized. Very rarely do people criticize the CIO’s data infrastructure or CFO’s accounting practices.

That is partly because other C-level executives have financially relevant and standardized measurement techniques to justify their costs and validate ROI. CFO’s have the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and CIO’s have ISO (an international organization to define and codify a broad range of operational descriptions, practices, and measurement). 

With the CEO’s obsession with Wall Street, unfortunately, the CMO is usually the “fall guy” if the numbers go south and the CEO is forced to make changes.

Marketing Strategies & Goals Help Increase ROI

So, how can marketers protect themselves from this knee-jerk trend?

The marketer’s strategy must be tied to financial profit and growth. That’s where an agency that is skilled in research, measurement, and analytics comes in – delivering performance-based strategies that provide a high rate of financial return by bringing in valuable new clients and retaining current ones.

Gut-feelings and even best practices can be misleading but if the right goals are known and the right metrics are being monitored, then misnomers, such as impressions, flashy-design, eyeballs, click-throughs, awareness, and visitors will not distract from top-line growth.

My next post will discuss the risks of measurement: both when we do and don’t measure the response and value of our marketing decisions.

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