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The plight of the CMO

The biggest issue for Chief Marketing Officer is that the average CMO lifespan is right around 23 months, a short time put your stamp on a company’s marketing efforts. That was brought to mind for me by my week at the CMO Summit in San Francisco, presented by the Aberdeen Group. If you are an executive level marketer I would recommend you consider taking in the event when it shows up in your neck of the woods. The two-day lineup consisted of top marketing minds from Levi Strauss, Intuit, Polycom, Aon, Burt’s Bees, Symantec, the SF 49ers, and more. (Perhaps the 49ers could hand out helmets to the rest of the CMOs.) It was interesting to just hear speaker after speaker give a glimpse into some of the issues and concerns that C-suite marketers face on a day-to-day basis.

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Interestingly enough, though, is that despite all of the change with social media and interactive marketing as a whole, the issues don’t seem any different than they have been for years. As you may know, I have a lot of experience on the sales side of the corporate world. Marketing and sales have never played together like they should and sadly I am not sure that has changed at all despite all of the “progress” that is supposedly taking place.
There is so much talk about marketing automation and more and more data, but the reality is that simple conversations about how marketing and sales can best facilitate company success are uncommon. Why not? I have no idea, because it makes perfect sense. Maybe it’s egos. I don’t know.
The CMO Summit is a great concept that alo makes sense. I would like to see Aberdeen do an Executive Marketing and Sales Peace Accord. Have an event where the top executives in each discipline are educated by people from the other discipline with a final meeting that brings the parties together after the learning. They are then required to hammer out a treaty and find a way to win together. I think it would be interesting and productive for all involved. Could be pretty darn interesting to watch as well.
On second thought, maybe the Middle East would be an easier target for this kind of effort.

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