Thursday, March 26, 2009

What are CMOs thinking? III

The pressure is on.

In an article in Advertising Age, “Why CMOs Are Gaining Ground in the Recession,” John Quelch, Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, listed the four mainmarketing challenges chief marketing officers (CMOs) currently face: Shifting consumer behavio, Price positioning, Stretching marketing dollars, Embracing digital

Following last week’s article, What Are CMOs Thinking?, here are the results of yet another report documenting the thoughts, attitudes and behaviors of CMOs in tough economic conditions.

Fielded late last year, “Isolating the Marketing DNA: The Essential Skills and Qualities of the New CMO,” fromSpencerStuart, delved into CMOs’ operational concerns.

When asked what attributes were needed to make a CMO successful, 65% replied the ability to impact bottom-line results.

But when asked what a CMO must “own” to be successful, 92% of the executives answered the brand.

The disconnect between the leading answers to the two questions is somewhat surprising, because often branding and bottom-line results are considered if not antithetical, at least rarely allied.

Unsurprisingly, when it came to what a CMO’s effectiveness should be measured against, following alignment with business strategy were profitability and revenues.

It is a complex job, with many pressures, but in the current economic environment CMOs have to be concerned with making money for their organizations.

Yet, as the SpencerStuart report cautioned, “Marketing can help by encouraging the organization to be counterintuitive in a time of financial crisis; rather than scaling back, companies can invest in the areas that will benefit customers.”

And that can mean…spending money.

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