CREW WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY
Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.
— Sir Ernest Shackleton’s recruitment notice for the 1915 Endurance Antarctic expedition (some 5,000 applicants were summarily rejected. By the way … the crew did return!!)
I welcome each of my new marketing classes with the sound-bite above. It’s an attention getter and a thought provoking way to get the class started.
It also makes a point because it appears today’s marketer’s also face a hazardous journey. Over the past couple of years you could count on at least one speaker in all marketing related conferences to quote the statistics from the Spencer Stuart CMO survey. The 2006 numbers stated that the average tenure for a Chief Marketing Officer was 23.2 months (23.5 months in 2005 and 23.6 months in 2004). And now a new report from the University of Texas, which interviewed more the 150 top companies with minimum annual revenues of $250M. The reports conclusion – the presence of a CMO in a company’s senior management team has no effect on the firm’s financial performance.
Marketing in today’s relationship economy is a bit hazardous. Many (most?) CMO’s have limited control over the product, the price, the distribution (or channel) or even the marcom budgets … let alone control over the customer or the management of customer accounts. Are marketers destined to fight for their survival and justify their existence because they are viewed as a cost center by the other C-levels?
What’s your view or opinion on how a CMO’s impact should be measured in order to bring “Honor and recognition in case of success!”