New marketing tricks also require new marketing skills. The penultimate touchstone considers how marketing talent can best be deployed to achieve results. In “The Fall and Rise of the CMO,” Gail McGovern and John A. Quelch of Harvard Business School chart the rise of a new type of results-driven marketer in the C-suites of corporate America. “But,” they warn, “the track record of CMOs, so far, is mixed.” Indeed, the average tenure for CMOs is only 23 months. What lies behind the churn among CMOs?
Professors McGovern and Quelch attribute CMO attrition rates to five factors: CMOs tend to be outgoing personalities who like to grab the limelight, even though this can rub the CEO the wrong way; too often these high-powered, talented individuals feel constrained by a lack of authority; expectations for the CMO’s impact on business performance are too high; they’re experts in marketing but don’t have multifunctional management depth; and the need for a CMO is not clearly defined. Managing this volatile cocktail of issues is something marketing chiefs need to master — or perish.
In “Making the Perfect Marketer,” Paul Hyde, Edward Landry, and Andrew Tipping analyze the results of ongoing research by Booz Allen and the Association of National Advertisers. Their findings point to both succor and soul searching for marketers. The good news is that most C-suite executives recognize that marketing is becoming more, not less, important. The bad news (which supports the findings of Professors McGovern and Quelch) is that in many organizations CEO and CMO agendas are dangerously out of alignment.
Organizing for Results-Driven Marketing
This brings us neatly to the final touchstone. Results-driven marketing will not happen on its own. It will require a great deal of work. It will also require marketing departments and professionals to regroup and reorganize. There is ample evidence that marketing departments are currently undergoing large-scale restructuring. What is less clear is what the outcome of that process will be.
The book’s final two chapters examine what it will take to make results-driven marketing a reality. In “The Brand-Guided Organization,” Gregor Harter, Alex Koster, Michael Peterson, and Michael Stomberg of Booz Allen report on a study that shows that brand-guided companies — firms that use their brand values as a compass for decision making in the business — outperform their rivals.
Finally, in “The Better Half: The Artful Science of ROI Marketing,” Booz Allen’s Leslie H. Moeller, Sharat K. Mathur, and Randall Rothenberg remind us of John Wanamaker’s famous charge against marketing. “I am certain that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted,” the founder of the eponymous Philadelphia department store is said to have quipped. “The trouble is, I do not know which half.”
Such ambiguity is no longer necessary — or acceptable — say Messrs. Moeller, Mathur, and Rothenberg. They explain how analysis quickly, precisely, and clearly allows the marketing wheat to be separated from the chaff, so that the most effective marketing initiatives can be used to generate growth and profits for the future.
In applying the new results-driven marketing approach, the authors affirm that “the barricades between information silos can come down; that everyone in the organization can share data and analytical tools; and that marketing and sales strategies can be transparent, measurable, and adaptable on the basis of real results, not historical anecdotes…. The better half will prevail. And at long last, old John Wanamaker will be able to rest in peace.”
Johannes Bussmann ([email protected]) is a vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton in Munich. He specializes in demand-side technology, especially for banking and insurance companies.
Gregor Harter ([email protected]) is a vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton based in Munich. His work is concentrated in the telecommunications and technology sector in Europe, and his clients also include major corporations in the U.S. and in Asia.
Evan Hirsh ([email protected]) is a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton based in Cleveland. He specializes in strategic marketing, business unit strategy, and performance improvement for consumer and industrial companies. Mr. Hirsh is coauthor, with Steven Wheeler, of Channel Champions: How Leading Companies Build New Strategies to Serve Customers (strategy+business/Jossey-Bass, 1999).