CEO/CMO Relationship
Perspectives from BMA 2014 National Conference
The critical role of the CMO, and marketing overall as...
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CEO/CMO Relationship Perspectives


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CEO/CMO Relationship Perspectives

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CEO/CMO Relationship Perspectives

  1. 1. CEO/CMO Relationship Perspectives from BMA 2014 National Conference The critical role of the CMO, and marketing overall as a strategic advisor to the CEO, was a common theme underpinning almost every session at the 2014 BMA conference. Whether explicit – as with the Tom Stein (Firestarter) or James Metcalf/Linda McGovern (USG) presentations – or implicitly referred to in other sessions, it was clear that marketing is increasingly being asked to play a vital role setting and advancing the strategic direction of organizations. Some key themes I took away from the discussions as it relates to the role of the CMO in relation to the CEO include: - Have Courage & Confidence – as marketing professionals we must have the courage and confidence to not only recognize the strategic nature of our role, but to take action. To speak up, to engage in broader business dialogue, and to have the convictions to take our ideas to the CEO. We no longer need to ask for the “seat at the table,” we need to pull up the chair and demonstrate our broad value to our organizations. - Do We Assume, or Do We Know? – as marketing professionals do we think we know if/why the CEO places tremendous value on our function, or are we having the right conversations so that we know what is critical, and how we are critical? It’s not about reporting relationships, it’s about personal and professional relationships and ensuring that you have the right conversations inside your organization. - Be An Integrator – lack of connectivity across internal teams is frequently a cause of great frustration for CEO’s. Given our connectivity to the strategy of the firm, as well as to both internal and external stakeholders, as marketing professionals we are in a great position to be integrators across our organizations. We can see the big picture, and we should share our view with our colleagues in HR, IT, Finance, etc. to drive collaboration and a unified focus to organizational success. - Customer Engagement / Customer Intimacy – whether it’s referred to as marketing/sales integration, demand generation, or client loyalty, the common theme is that CEO’s have recognized the critical importance of better understanding and developing deeper relationships with customers. The opportunity here is that organizations now they have to do this, but it’s not clear how. Marketing is in a great position to drive this customer/client connectivity across the organization. The best way to view the CEO/CMO connection isn’t as a reporting relationship, but as a partnership. We have the knowledge, the skills and the perspectives to be that relied upon strategic advisor, and the good news is CEO’s across organizations are asking us to play that role.