!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: How a CMO Should Exert Influence

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How a CMO Should Exert Influence

On 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.
Quelch concludes by noting that CMOs need to be not only adept at brand differentiation, but also financially literate so that they can put together credible business cases for their marketing recommendations.


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