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Don’t blame it on COVID

Businesses expect too much from their marketing departments. Maybe that’s why we continue to see a decline in the life span of the “average” U.S. CMO. It’s down to 40 months like it was in 2009 – when there was no pandemic.

According to executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart, as reported in the eMarketer latest INSIDER Intelligence report, “For success and longevity in the role, CMOs must identify their company’s needs and align their skills accordingly.” Do you agree, I don’t.

It’s not about aligning their skills, as Spencer-Stuart would have us believe. It’s about aligning your business to your markets, your audiences, your customers.

Marketing teams operate against a backdrop of increased consumer expectations they don’t always understand, disruptive external developments that never stop, and complex internal relationships. Meanwhile, marketing’s list of responsibilities continues to expand as the demands from the C-Suite continue to grow.

Instead of turning toward the next new thing, or continuing to do business in the Age of Yesterday, it’s time to ask what’s wrong with this picture and how do we fix it. Consider these four points:

  • First, we don’t work together, both within the marketing department and throughout the organization. We are locked in fortified silos. We attack each other and eat our young. This should be an easy fix but it’s not because no one will stand up and say ‘Stop.’

  • Second, we look for love in all the wrong places. Internally and externally. Tear down the silos and start rebuilding together. Put your customers at the heart of your business.

  • Third, we try to do too much. Get back to the basics. Connect, engage and excite, and you’ll generate new brand energy. That’s my promise.

  • And fourth, we overly complicate our marketing strategies and miss the basic business drivers.

This isn’t brain surgery. Don’t blame it on COVID. Stop overthinking and underperforming.

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