Statistics show that nearly 11 percent of executives will fail in their first year on the job, and according to Manchester Inc. nearly 40 percent won’t make it past the first 18 months in a new position. When it comes to average number of months at a position Chief Marketing Officers have the shortest tenure of all. In fact, as you can see by the chart, they barely get beyond two years before they are gone.
CEO 44 months
CFO 39 months
CIO 36 months
CMO 26 months
As Business Week commented in an article on the subject, “The CMO job is radioactive.” The problem as explained in the article quoted a well known research company as stating that 70% of the companies don’t know what they’re looking for when they recruit a CMO. It could be that just as many companies are not sure of what they are looking for when it comes to Customer Value. In Graham Hill’s recent post “Take Three Bites at the Customer Value Cherry” he identifies three different components; Customer Transaction Value, Customer Referral Value and Customer Network Value. It’s a really good post and you should take time to read it.
The point that I want to raise is that no matter what measure or measures you settle on your customer value initiative will take time to unfold. And like many projects, it will probably take longer than you originally thought. After all, data sources may need to be identified and perhaps even activity based costing systems put in place. By the way, once you’ve measured the customer value are you really going to do anything with it? Are you fully prepared and committed to change processes and procedures based on your new information?
The sad fact is that the long-term view of almost every organization is really composed of a sequence of short-term views or short-term plans. It is disastrous when someone goes into an organization thinking they have six, nine or 12 months to get up to speed and then want to see the ten-year plan to align their goals accordingly. At most companies, there is no such thing as a ten-year plan, and most organizations, even the non-profits, are not thinking in those terms anymore.
So, the question to the CXO’s out there. How are you marshaling internal support to keep your customer value initiatives within executive-months so to speak? How about the vendors and SI’s? How are you helping to accelerate customer value initiatives and reduce the CXO’s risk?