The times are changing, and marketing is no longer an afterthought in even the smallest of companies. With fierce competition looming over our heads, and regulatory issues consuming the lives of many, a marketing presence is needed in the C-Suite now more than ever. Long gone are the days where a Marketing Director's only responsibilities are placing newspaper ads, processing community donations, and maintaining tchotchke inventory.
Here are five reasons why marketing deserves a seat in the C-Suite...
1. Big Data. Let's face it, big data is a Billboard #1 hit these days. Who else within the organization is responsible for the management of big data? Finance? No. Too many numbers to crunch and GL's to balance. Operations? Definitely not. With changes in infrastructure and technology, operational inefficiencies take up the majority of their time. Compliance? Ha. In the age of fraud and frivolous lawsuits? That goes without saying. That's right, big data fits with no department other than marketing. Between CRM tools, MCIF capabilities, and core system metrics, marketing is the only department with the experience and wherewithal to dissect the data into meaningful insights, and drive the decision-making process.
2. Strategy. Executive-level marketers should own the strategic marketing plan and work closely with interns and marketing managers to implement the deliverables within the plan, ensuring that objectives are met. If your organization lacks a marketer in the c-suite, it is also likely that you lack a comprehensive strategic marketing plan. This results in members of the executive team constantly poking and prodding your marketing team for "flavor of the month" product promotions and sales, unaware of how detrimental this is to the organic growth of the organization. Next to the overall strategic plan, the strategic marketing plan (customarily also containing sales and business development strategies), is a secondary necessity to completing a successful business plan.
3. Branding. Believe it or not, you don't control your brand, your consumer does. But you can certainly influence the consumer perception of your brand if you have a dedicated brand manager within your organization. Brand manager isn't necessarily a title, it's a civic duty. Ok, maybe not a civic duty, but it's an extremely important responsibility that requires passion, immersion, and is vital to the success of any organization. Being a good leader is an important quality of any brand manager, and being that good leaders are hard to retain, giving them a seat in the C-Suite is a surefire way to build a brand evangelist and retain a loyal employee.
4. Technology. Knowing your niche is important. A CMO who sits with the Knights of the Round Table will be well-versed on everything from digital technology to cross-channel proliferation tactics, and operational automation tools. Without your C-Suite CMO, you’re either relying on an outside firm/agency to know the ins and outs of your operations, or trusting that your lower level marketing staff members are trained in the latest and greatest strategies and digital insights.
5. Accountability. Whether your CMO oversees sales and business development in addition to marketing, or is solely responsible for the retail marketing aspect of your business, as most successful organizations know, the value of being able to hold a decision-maker accountable for results is priceless. Reporting on advertising and campaign ROI, product profitability, channel efficiency, and share-of-wallet projections are just a few segments for which an executive-level CMO should be held accountable.
In summary, in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environment of instant consumer gratification and engaging touch points, marketing roles include (but are not limited to): advertising specialists, content managers, digital analysts, data analysts, social media officers, graphic designers, brand ambassadors, business development officers, etc. Positioning an executive in the role of CMO to be accountable for all of the above responsibilities allows for optimum profitability, growth, and success for your organization.