How a CMO Should Exert InfluenceOn March 10, Advertising Age published a brief note (sub req) by John Quelch, a professor at Harvard Business School, that offers concrete advice concerning the issues on which a chief marketing officer (CMO) can most effectively contribute to his/her CEO's decision-making during the current recession.
Quelch identifies four key issues:
- Adapting to shifting consumer behavior "The CEO needs a CMO who understands the company's brands and consumers and their comparative profitability to recommend needed changes in customer targeting and brand messaging."
- Optimizing pricing "Marketers need to hit key retail price points [which are lower than in rosier economic times]; emphasize lower-cost, stripped-down or downsized versions of their products; and revamp their promotion calendars to maximize price competitiveness at the point of sale."
- Stretching marketing dollars "An experienced CMO will know how to take a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer to the marketing budget."
- Embracing Internet-based media It may be time "to experiment further and allocate more of [companies'] budgets to search advertising, banner advertising or motivating user-generated content through a branded website." The CMO has the expertise needed to make informed recommendations.