I made my way into marketing through a couple of paths. Primarily, as someone that is passionate about organizations, I realize that very few leaders are willing to say, “Please, come help us make our organization better.” But they will ask, “Please help us make more money.” Enter marketing.
I learned early on that by working with leaders to develop and implement strategy, the organization would need to change to fit and execute properly, from the systems and processes to the people. Seemed like a great place to enter an organization.
And it has been, but over the years I have seen the same stunning myopia that has been seen in other functions (HR, IT, etc.). For the most part, marketing organizations are creative shops, where designers and free-thinkers sit while the rest of the company goes out and tries to earn an honest dollar (said with the disgust that my father-in-law might use when talking about the younger generation).
The CMO tenure has been cut to a number of months. Executives want results now without doing the work and connecting with the customers in order to get the results. Its all about streamlining, cost-savings, etc. for the sake of cutting and lowering, but nothing is ever seen in the eyes of elevating and strengthening. (You can thank exec comp plans for that).
So for years, a relative few have preached that the CEO is the CMO, and that Marketing IS the business, not just a part of the business, and that sales is a part of marketing, not merely the consumer of marketing’s zany antics.
Peter Drucker said that there are only two functions in a business: marketing and innovation. I agree. Everything else should support those activities, for without them, customer needs will not be met, and the organization will tank.
Anyways, here is a great article from someone who “Gets It”. Check it out.