Do CEOs and chief marketing offices see eye-to-eye in charting company growth? Evidently not given the slew of recent chief marketing officer exits from Fortune 500 companies such as UPS, Walgreens and Etsy—all of which have combined the CMO job with other C-suite roles or eliminated it altogether. They join a growing list of corporations—including Hyatt Hotels, Uber and Johnson & Johnson—that have cut the CMO role in the past few years.
When done well, marketing is the single biggest growth lever for a company and great CEOs value growth as much or more than anything else. So, why is there such a significant gap between how CMOs demonstrate marketing’s impact on a company’s growth and how CEOs perceive it?
Removing CMOs altogether should alarm the entire marketing profession and be a call to action to better create and demonstrate value. Here are three strategies to restore CMOs’ C-suite status.
Break down the root cause
Only 10 percent of CEOs at Fortune 250 companies worked in marketing. This means many CEOs start at ground zero in understanding how marketing converts into business growth. There is a fine line between talking down to a CEO and properly educating one. CMOs must effectively walk that line so CEOs can connect how marketing results reliably lead to certain outcomes.