Thursday, March 30, 2006

Superior or Average Contextual Marketing Managers

What is it that separates the good from the great, the superior from the average?

Why is it that the average job tenure for a chief marketing officer is so alarmingly short?

One of the differenatiators is that Great Marketing Managers see a future beyond the marketing budget. The budget is such an ugly place to get mired down. Great managers chart a bigger and more ambitious path, they understand the critical decisions that must be made to make the chart into a reality and they get the right people on the bus to help them turn the future into powerful outcomes.

The marketing budget dedicates all of us to incremental growth. It is conservative. Safe. It is usually loaded with a fair amount of deadwood that produces no return on the investment. It is loaded with yesterday's situation and yesterday's results and has no real relation with the future that can be.

Now, ignoring a marketing budget can be a risky venture. It takes real leadership and very smart management and a conviction for what will work.

That's the difference to me. It's what I have observed in three decades of watching well over a hundred chief marketing managers, in companies as big as P&G all the way down to small manufacturers and retailers. The ability to see a bigger future and the means to get there.

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