Chief Marketing Officers: Race drivers on trucks?

I recently read an engaging article in Harvard Business Review asking “Do CMOs really add value?” Anchroing on recent research by Frank Germann, Peter Ebbes and Rajdeep Grewal, one of the points that the article makes is that the answer depends on your type of organization.


It appears that marketing in companies with CMOs plays a more important role leading to 15% better performance compared to peers. But the real positive impact is in companies with fast sales growth (implying continuous and more frequent feedback from customers) and where CMOs are indeed part of the C-suite with not only access to decision making but also with influence.

On the other hand, CMOs in organizations with rooted cultures, heavy handed CEOs and slow growth with stagnant customer base often do not have the chance to make the contribution one would wish to see.

Before engaging CMOs, or for that matter any employee, we need to make sure that the company will be able to and wiling use their skills and contributions. No point in having a formula one driver at the wheels of a trailer truck.

Read more on the related research: The Chief Marketing Office Matters

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