CMO, The New Fall Guy

I spent most of the past month working on my personal website.  It’s been a long time since I actually had to update it.  I did a lot of work on it in the past when it was an actual company.  Then I just let it sit and kind of just do nothing.  Which was interesting because traffic kept increasing by about 15-20% a month with no effort to promote it. 



I wanted to create a new website with a new concept that I could really enjoy working on over the coming years and I found one that I just love to focus on, organic foods and the green lifestyle.  Been into this since the early 90’s and have always kept an interest in the area, so I felt it would be a good one to share with others.  Also, I have been building my own websites since the late 90’s.  I used to always stay current on the latest trends in regards to web development even though this is not my area of expertise.  But I always felt it was important to stay up to date on areas that influence my area of expertise which is global marketing. 



As I built my new site I realized I had gotten pretty rusty on web development and the latest tools.  I do blog, as you can see, I understand the tools and SEO and all that, but I still felt like I needed more catching up, I was keeping up with the trends, but I wasn’t cutting edge.  So I’m reading up on wikis and how to add one in to the website and Web 3.0 so that I can get ahead of the trends again.  I really want to stay cutting edge and provide my site with all the opportunities to grow.  In a way, this really relates to the title of this entry.




Over the last few months, more and more articles have been published about the plight of top marketing managers and how they are now working the most dangerous job in the corporate world.  Your average CMO has the shortest tenure of any top officer and many of the top and middle ranks in marketing are starting to feel the heat as well.




Many of the articles could not pin point what was the main cause of marketing being in the cross hairs.  The main speculation was that marketing is the new fall guy.  When the CEO needs to blame someone for bad performance, the CMO or other top marketer is the easiest target to point to and fire.  In a way this is true and in a way, this is the fault of marketing in general. 



As the marketing budget takes up a larger percentage of companies’ expenses, the head of marketing has a greater role in the direction of the company, yet many marketers still have not found a way to demonstrate their value to the bottom line in tangible and financial ways that are undeniable in their impact.  This makes any marketer the easiest target on the block.  To fix this, marketers need to address the real issues that make them such easy targets.  So far, many have not done this.  Sad to say, they rely on the same methods with little true innovation that makes them a value.  The various stories of top marketers in the many stories show this!




I remember reading a book long ago, its basic message was to always show your value to the bottom line of an organization in a way that demonstrates you are too valuable to dispose of.  Too often this isn’t shown by marketing.  Lets be honest, cute commercials and nice looking brochures are what people think of marketing.  That worked 30 years ago, not anymore.  A true marketer knows all the aspects of the business and how to market each area and the quantitative value marketing brings in each area.  A recent survey said that 87% of marketers can’t demonstrate the value they bring to sales.  That’s embarrassing!




My fellow marketers, you are never going to gain respect until you adopt new standards.  This is the plain truth of the matter.  Yes it is fun to make cool commercials but bottom line accountability is king in business these days.  You must adapt and a huge reason why marketers are the fall guy are because they have not adapted to the realities of the current winds of business.  Make yourself more valuable, in ways the CFO, COO or CIO can’t be.  When you can do that, you won’t be the fall guy anymore. 



And yes, I have plenty of ideas who to make that happen.

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Filed under Branding, Business, Leadership, Marketing

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