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CMOs Could Be Extinct, Says Strategic Marketing Growth Expert Lisa Nirell
EnergizeGrowth®'s New Findings and Marketing Planning Models Reflect Market Changes and Demands
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The traditional expectations from Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are out of date for today's growth-oriented companies.
"CMOs are struggling with seismic market shifts that threaten their careers," says Lisa Nirell, president of EnergizeGrowth® LLC, who consults with B2B market leaders such as BMC Software, Adobe, Sony, and IBM. She cites these reasons:
1. Budgets are shifting. Gartner Group predicts that CIOs will spend more on IT than CMOs within the next five years. Lines of responsibility have blurred across these organizations. CMOs can no longer rely solely on their creative and business generalist abilities.
2. Social media exacerbates cross-departmental and customer tensions. Changing cultural and B2B buying norms, fueled by social media and democratized information, have caused unprecedented departmental tensions and trust issues. They are driving CMOs to shift from pushing their ideas to listening more proactively to their ever-expanding community.
3. Pressure to demonstrate a return on investment with Marketing has reached a fever pitch. During Lisa's recent CMO breakfast in Washington, DC, the CMO of a large nonprofit headquartered in Washington, D.C., told her that "he lamented the cost and challenges associated with measuring marketing ROI. When he needs approval for key initiatives from the CEO, she demands facts and figures. He cannot always prove the return on their marketing investments in the short term. Many new CMO initiatives are entering unchartered territory."
4. Lines of responsibility across marketing sales are disintegrating. While interviewing the CEO of a fast-growing marketing consultancy, which boasts 500 clients, Lisa learned that 48 per cent of their B2B CMO clients now carry a quota -- and that number is growing. IBM and GE Solutions are also starting to assign quotas to Marketing. In a recent issue of Marketing Week, Neil Rackham explains that "GE Solutions has split its marketing into 'upstream' and 'downstream' groups. The upstream group focuses on product development, and the downstream group focuses on working with the sales teams."
Over the past few months, Nirell met privately with dozens of CMOs to learn how they are addressing these major shifts.
"Their biggest frustration is their inability to win the hearts and minds of the C-suite. I believe their current perceived role is limiting them from reaching their true potential. When I reflect on the traditionally sought after competencies for a CMO, an image of 'order taker and service provider' emerges. Unfortunately, that perception has three limitations: it has become outdated, if not extinct; it restricts Marketing's true potential; and finally, it perpetuates the belief that anyone can be a marketing expert.
"This is why I designed a more contemporary set of criteria for CMOs and launched the Marketing Leaders of DC™," says Nirell, who speaks at B2B conferences targeted to companies, such as ASU Center for Services Leadership, Allegiance, and the Greater Houston Women's Chamber.
Nirell offers a new and improved set of CMO competencies that CMOs must adopt to survive. To see the list, visit Lisa's FastCompany post.
Nirell summarizes by saying, "CMOs are at a crossroads. Will they choose the path of least resistance (status quo), or embrace the role of revenue pioneers? Their choice will either accelerate or bury a company's business strategy growth plan."
Lisa Nirell has helped B2B companies grow top line revenue since 1998. Through her sustainable growth consulting services, exclusive CMO peer groups, and tailored workshops, clients typically experience at least a 2%-5% increase in revenues and greater confidence in their growth plan.
In addition, Lisa's latest book, called EnergizeGrowth NOW: The Marketing Guide to a Wealthy Company, helps senior executives drive predictable growth without selling out on their values. Nirell is also an award-winning FastCompany expert blogger.
To receive a free chapter of Lisa's book, or to schedule a 20-minute CMO strategy session, visit http://www.energizegrowth.com and register for EnergizeNews.
About Lisa Nirell
Lisa Nirell is the author of EnergizeGrowth NOW: The Marketing Guide to a Wealthy Company. She helps B2B leaders drive sustainable growth by focusing on their customers and core values.
Lisa has been sought after to uncover fresh new business growth ideas and lead senior staff through seismic culture shifts and transitions.
She has advised top performing companies such as BMC Software, EMC, Microsoft, Adobe, and Wells Fargo Advisors. She brings the best of her practical wisdom to mid-market B2B leaders.
SOURCE EnergizeGrowth LLC