Monday, April 23, 2007

Sneak Peak - CMO Report Highlights

The Define & Align the CMO report is avaliable to today after 2 years in the making. The report actually turned out to be more interesting than we orignal thought based on our working hypothesis.

The year-long research by the CMO Council and MarketBridge encompassed qualitative and quantitative interviews with CMOs, CEOs, board members, senior marketers and executive recruiters throughout North America. The 80-page report, priced at $295, along with a complimentary executive abstract, is available for download at

Here's a teaser of some the insights coming out of the research:

  • Confusion over the role - the casualty rate of Chief Marketing Officers can be reduced if CEOs and boards better understood the role, requirements and value of a CMO and empowered the right individuals to architect all aspects of a company’s operations around the customer experience.
  • "A Fixer Upper" - the report points out that title inflation, unrealistic expectations, flawed hiring practices, talent deficiencies, and lack of requisite business and strategic leadership skills are big contributors to the limited shelf life of CMOs. The research also points to the fact that 50 percent of executive searches are to replace incumbent CMOs who are primarily hired to fix broken marketing organizations, not drive business value.
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T - the study uncovers startling contradictions in upper management: most executives consider the CMO a valued member of the executive team, yet they also believe many CMOs lack the background and skills needed to be a top management player - a challenge numerous senior marketers share with their CIO counterparts at many companies. Additionally, in a sharp commentary on the connection between strategic value and performance, most CMOs involved in top-level decision-making get high marks from their CEOs for their overall performance, while those CMOs who remain in tactical mode get significantly lower grades.
  • Show me the Money! - nearly three-quarters of the C-suite executives surveyed consider the marketing organization “highly influential and strategic in the enterprise.” At the same time, nearly two-thirds also say their top marketers don’t provide adequate evidence of ROI with which to gauge marketing’s true performance.
  • Getting a Grade - In a clear sign of the strategic role played by marketing executives, nearly 70% of the CMO respondents to this study report directly to their CEO. However, only 40% of that number get an A grade for their performance from the CEO...most likely the ones who could demonstrate their value! For the most part, CMOs get more respect from the boardroom than from the CEO. Most of the board members surveyed, over 80%, believe that within the next two years, the CMO position will gain greater credibility with the rest of the management team. But in another reality check, less than 20 percent also say that an increasing number of CMOs will rise to the CEO position
  • Longer Tenure - A majority of the recruiters surveyed believe that CMOs have a shorter shelf life than other C-level executives. The average tenure of CMO respondents to this study was 38 months. (In a past report, the search firm Stuart Spencer pegged the number at 23 months). We had a professor from a top business school involved in our research...he's a data/analytics guru. He was also familiar with the Stuart Spencer report, here's a dirty little secret...CMO's your tenure is longer than what SS reports. Don't believe the hype...they are an executive placement firm.

“If CMOs do face an identity crisis, it’s not for lack of marketing competence or creativity – the CMO leadership capabilities and talent levels in the surveyed companies are higher than ever,” said Tim Furey, CEO of MarketBridge. “Rather, the identity crisis stems from a perceived lack of measurable results. The most successful CMOs are aggressively instituting rigorous performance measurement and analytics in every aspect of their organizations, and tying those metrics to revenue and profit growth.”

I couldn't agree more with Tim's's all about the numbers now!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The CMO Club New York Meeting

If you're interested (and in the area) I'll be speaking at an upcoming CMO Club meeting in New York on April 24th.

I'll be presenting insights from our 2007 Sales Effectiveness survey that will be published in Sales & Marketing Managment magazine next month.

Here's a preview of the presentation;

  • If we all believe the 80/20 rule...80% of our revenues come from 20% of products and customers...

  • and it cost 7X to acquire a customer account rather than keep a customer...

  • ...then why did an overwhelming majority of survey respondents answer that the keys to future growth were acquiring new customers and selling new products?

Attend the meeting and find out why. If you're interested in attending or joining the club talk to Pete Krainik.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Role of the CMO

MarketBridge and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council have partnered for perhaps the most comprehensive look yet at the top rung of the marketing ladder. “Define & Align the CMO” encompasses interviews and surveys of CEOs, CMOs, other high-level marketers, search firm executives and board members—nearly 1,500 study participants in all.

The results of the research are in, and are highlighted in this front-page story in the April 16 issue of Adweek.

Given our marketing and sales engagements with a number of Fortune 500 companies, we are well aware of the difficulties faced by CMOs, and believe the importance of the top marketing executive as a driver of company revenue and growth cannot be overstated. The “Define & Align” research sheds new important light on the expectations, challenges, successes and failures of Corporate America in properly assimilating the CMO position into company hierarchy.

Please contact us if you would like to receive a copy of the report or if you would like to have one our team members present the findings.

In addition, stay tuned for information on an upcoming “Define & Align” Webcast, featuring top executives who will weigh in on the state of the CMO.

Friday, March 16, 2007

2007 Sales Effectiveness Study

After four straight years of economic expansion, companies are now developing and implementing plans to capitalize on changes in their competitive markets. The “Sales Effectiveness” study, fielded in Q4 2006 by MarketBridge in partnership with Sales & Marketing Management magazine, identifies the most effective sales strategies for maximum growth, while revealing major sales challenges going forward.

The insights of nearly 200 sales and marketing executives and managers generated some provocative findings, among them:
  • More than half of respondents said their sales forces spend 50 percent or less of its time actually selling. Furthermore nearly three-fourths said their sales forces spent 50 percent or less of its time in direct contact with customers.
  • Top three strategies for growth: Introducing new products or product extensions (45 percent); reorganizing the sales organization (39 percent); changing the focus on customer or market segments (35 percent). That said, exactly one-third said they had “high confidence” in their companies reaching their growth goals in 2007.
  • Greatest customer demands: Companies are strained to offer “new products at reduced prices,” and to follow up on those offerings with “better service.” Further, more than a third (34.7 percent) said they were just “somewhat prepared” to deliver on those customer demands.

The findings of the study will be highlighted in the May edition of Sales & Marketing Management magazine. For more informatin on the survey results please contact Mark Donnolo at MarketBridge

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Telecom Sales Effectiveness Study

Here's an upcoming Webinar you may be interested in joining

Telecom Marketing & Sales Outlook

Join industry experts for 30-minutes of informative discussion and audience interaction on marketing and sales challenges, strategies, trends and best practices in the telecommunications space.

What: Complimentary “Driving Telecom Marketing And Sales Effectiveness,” Webinar, presented by MarketBridge, Telephony Magazine and the Kellogg School of Management.

When: Tuesday, April 19, 2007, 1:00-1:30 p.m. (EST)

Who: Mark Donnolo, Senior Vice President of MarketBridge head of our Telecommunications Practice, Estelle Conover, VP Alliance Channels, AT&T Southeast, and moderator Dan O’Shea, editor-in-chief of Telephony Magazine

Why: This event is based on the first annual “Driving Telecom Marketing & Sales Effectiveness Survey,” which gathered insights from 350 marketing and sales executives and managers from 160 leading Telecom Carriers, Wireless Providers, Cable Companies and Equipment Manufacturers.

Topics to be discussed:

  • Focus on Enterprise, SMB, Consumer

  • Growth Strategies

  • Focus on Customers and Prospects

  • Key Challenges

How: To register (complimentary) click here

The “Driving Telecom Marketing & Sales Effectiveness” final report will be available for download on the day of the webinar. For a brief overview and interpretation of the key findings, listen to the podcast with MarketBridge’s Mark Donnolo and Telephony’s Dan O’Shea. We hope you will join us for what promises to be an informative event!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

PR Firms - You're Next

Happy New Year and Welcome Back!

In keeping with the New Year tradition, I'd like to make a prediction for the year...PR firms are going to feel the pain that the big agencies have felt over the last few years.

Last year, big agencies continued to take a beating...shrinking profitability as spending continues to shift to online and away from TV and other profitable media, massive loss of talent to clients and/or new start-ups, and finally, clients dissatifaction with the traditional agency model, etc.

Big Agency Model

Dissatifaction with the Big Agency business model you say – but why? Here's one man's cynical view of how the "game" works.

Big agency wins account using outsourced, incredibly talented "pitch team", really innovative creative, and a promise of a global platform which promise to improve the "message", create synergies, improve spend, etc. The client drinks the "kool aid" but then quickly comes to realize that it was a sham. The account manager is not the person who pitched them and starts to do a very good impression of the "invisible man". The once huge and skilled account team is also disappearing, being replaced by a staff that contains mostly fresh faced kids just out of school.

The account relationships sputters along with marginal performance. The client BU’s and Regions get fed up with the "Global Platform" (never getting the attention and team promised) and start going outside using smaller, smarter and more valued agencies (who happened to have the talent who have recently left a big agency…after being purchased). And the innovative "Creative" they showed to win the account turns out to be the only creative thing they've produced in the last few years (oh, and it was created by a smaller specialize agency).

Big agency realizes the account is at risk and begins acquiring the small agencies that are serving the client to secure the account. If the client is willing to commit to retaining the agency after all this...they promise to win them an award and get them really good concert tickets.

PR's Turn
Ok, now it's PR turn in the barrel. But I think the thing that is going to most threaten the PR firms is new PR software vendors/tools like Vocus. They threatened to disintermediate them because in the past PR firms traded on the tact that they knew who to contact, about what and when. Tools like Vocus are taking a little mystery out of the PR magic.

They contain a database of key media contacts, contact tracking, links into channels like PR Newswire, etc. Everything you need to "do it yourself". But Scott, what about the relationship that PR firms have at the media outlets that you're targeting? Forget about it. Here's the bottom line...relationships don't matter.

The Media "establishment" has no loylaties...they take want they need to meet a deadline. If you make it easy for them, give them something of value (something that meets the 3 "C's" critirea) and/or help them out in a have as good a relationship as anyone else.

So what is the threat? I think the smart companies are going to start bringing more and more of the PR activities back in-house. Most likely, it will start in small and mid-tier sized companies and will work its way up the ranks. Combine this with the framentation of media, smaller niche players targeting specific market segments, Web 2.0 technologies and you have a situation where companies will be able to get their message to their target audience better then ever and at a much lower cost.

I'm not a betting man, but this one looks like a sure thing.

Here's to a successful and profitable 2007