The New CMOS Aren’t Chiefs or Marketers

Dec 12

Updated: December 26, 2013

CMOThe average CMO, meaning Chief Marketing Officer in 2009 didn’t last even two years. You might blame it on the recession, or the fact that CMO is a relatively new term. But, as the world turns more digital, some argue the initials should stand for something else.  The new CMO, according to social media modernist Brian Solis is a Community Management Officer.  Not responsible for getting messages out, this new position is one of engagement and relationship-building.   As Solis states in his new e-book The Art and Science of Blogger Relations: “they are on the front lines of listening and engaging in conversations across the web.”  If you don’t have a Kindle, you may not be able to read it. Solis is totally dedicated to engaging via new media replete with typos throughout the copy and all.

Unlike ivory tower Chief Marketing Officers with big corner offices in corporate complexes, the Community Management Officer is down in the trenches, trolling the web and providing valuable content in key areas.  It’s a person who tends to be ahead of the times, much like Solis who blog published his Social Media Manifesto in June 2007.

Warning: It’s not a short read — at least 11 pdf pages, in direct contrast to the average blog post.

Recommendation: Read it. It foretells the future of communication.

Since the social media world is all about making the world smaller, I was not surprised to see that Solis had co-authored a book on PR with Deidre Breckenridge, a Jersey girl who heads the PR for PFS Marketwyse, an ad agency that pitched me almost a decade ago.  We didn’t hire them, but they had amazing work.  They showed us an ad campaign for positioning a newspaper that I remember to this day.  We didn’t buy it , but  it was a campaign the newspaper industry as a whole through the NAA (Newspaper Association of America) should have adopted. Perhaps if they had, they’d be in better shape today.

The Take-Away: Titles don’t matter, but positions do. Someone should have responsibility for marketing in an organization as the role is far too important to ignore or relegate as a secondary role

What’s the Marketing Department’s Value Proposition?

Dec 13

Updated: December 19, 2013

Take Time at Year End to Polish Your Own Image

Ishoemakert’s the end of the year and a great time to look back on all things accomplished, particularly if it has been a difficult year. After all, it’s always easier to get things done when times are good. It’s exceptionally noteworthy if you can point to accomplishments during the lean times.

Tooting their own horns is something marketing people do not excel at. They are trained to promote someone or something else. They relish a chance to market a company, a service, a product or a person, but rarely take the time to promote themselves.  Is it little wonder then that marketing departments are frequently the first to be cut from strained budgets?

Chief Marketing Officers are becoming more commonplace, and their career spans are increasing.  Even so, CMOs generally have substantially shorter career spans than their CFO, COO and CIO counterparts. Ironically, it means the CMO, responsible for ensuring the value proposition of a company, has not done a good enough job at delineating the value proposition of the company’ s own marketing efforts!

It’s a re-telling of the classic story known as “the shoemaker’s children have no shoes.” The story tells the tale of a shoemaker who is so busy taking care of customer’s shoes that he neglects to put shoes on his children’s feet.  The analogy to CMOs who don’t take care to watch over their own marketing departments is clear.  By not promoting the good works and efforts of their departments, managers, employees and partners, CMOS are neglecting to put shoes on their own team and leaving them barefoot with little ability to run the distance needed for sustained efforts.

One way to start down a different, more productive road is to take time each year-end to issue an overview report of accomplishments. You can call it an annual marketing report, dashboard, or just a report card.  Either way, it’s a good thing to do for your own self-confidence, if not for the job security of an entire marketing team.  It can help focus the CEO of value provided, and help determine what needs to be improved in the following year.  It should show how the marketing team has contributed to company results and is key to the company’s current and continued success.

The Take-Away: Don’t be like the shoemaker who doesn’t fix his own shoes.  Take some time to toot you own horn both for yourself and your entire marketing team. do it before  New Year’s Eve, when all other horn tooting starts.  The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on accomplishments and the joys that marketing brings to a company in oh so many ways.