May 08, 2017 - Business - By Raphael Robertson
After many years of being the slight laughing stock of the executive world and taking a backseat to all of the other departments such as Sales, Finance, IT Operations and damn near the interns, Chief Marketing Officers and Marketing Heads are now taking the front seat and eyeing the steering wheel. Businesses are really really starting to understand that the key is to stand out and make yourself be seen, and guess who is leading that charge? Marketing. That’s who.
After spending time in the backseat and having the department heads of nearly every other department question if the person from marketing should even have a seat at the table, marketers are now finally being looked at to actually lead the company. Now for my CMO’s, you are now getting the much deserved respect we should have gotten years ago. In order to keep this pony on the track, you have to understand that you are officially in the game and need a new set of skills to succeed. You will be called upon for your expertise in areas of the organization that you wouldn’t normally think of, like P&L and working side-by-side with the Chief Information Officer. Congratulations. We have done it. Now, when you say you are in marketing, people will not look at you and say, “Oh like arts and crafts of a company?”, UGH.
Chief Marketing Officer As a marketing person, it makes me so happy when companies are looking to hire a CEO and they are looking for someone with the skills that a CMO possesses. A few years ago, the normal road to becoming a CEO was to first hold the position of CFO or VP. Now, it’s looking like the road to becoming a CEO is actually being a successful CMO, and in the words of Kool Moe Dee, “How you like me now?!” I mean, look at it like this: There is no one in the C-Suite that is more connected to the market place than the CMO. Genius CEOs realized not too long ago that iin order to be a successful brand and successful company, you have to be customer-oriented. Do you know who physically creates the company’s first path to the customer? You guessed it- the CMO or Marketing Head. Marketing executives also often have the ability to change the way in which the company is managed based on their expertise which is critical for companies seeking enterprise transformation. Secret agent of operation CHANGE. I often refer to myself as a double-O agent and my firm as something out of a spy movie. The name is Robertson……Raphael Robertson. The CMO that is cleverly disguised as a CEO. The CEO that understands how to position a company to succeed in a broader marketplace will ultimately create a vision and plan to deliver on that positioning. This type of CEO can understand, appreciate and influence others within that very company.
C-Suite increasing need for marketing strategist In order to be just as successful as CEOs, CMOs must also be able to execute on visions and growth. One of the biggest challenges any CEO has is planning the business of the future while operating the business of today which is way easier said than done. Operational experience is important to really make the jump from CMO to CEO. For the marketing guys with their eyes on the prize of controlling the entire ship, all executives must be able to embrace things like execution, implementation, and operations all at once. Let’s not push this onto one person. If we all chip in, the entire team wins.