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February 02, 2008


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» Why CMO's Get Fired So Fast from CCUCEO
David Meerman Scott at Web Ink Now explains Why most CMOs get fired. He lists 4 reasons and one's an audience participation. The first reason and the last reason pretty much say it all: CMOs get fired because they would [Read More]


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That's damn good, all true and very powerful.

You should do a 60 minute teleseminar about that, have it transcribed, put your designer to work on the design and release it ;-)

Bob London

This is very good info. I would add that the relatively short tenure of CMOs suggests a disconnect in hiring expectations vs. delivery. This particularly applies to marketing because of the varying definitions of what "marketing" is, and the wide range of backgrounds marketing execs can have or claim to have.

jeff bean


Thanks for sharing. So very true.

The pressure on CMOs to make things happen quickly in big companies leads to a lot of "same-old stuff" marketing tactics sprinkled in with some praying.

If one high-profile CMO is willing to go non-traditional -- and succeeds in a high-profile way -- there may be hope for the future of this endangered species.

Joshua Feinberg

I'm sure when you got the call from Gary Stern, you were both thinking about Chief Marketing Officers in fairly large companies.

But a lot of what you were talking about is also epidemic among Marketing Managers in small companies... even in those where the Marketing Manager is the entire Marketing Department (small companies in the $1M-$20M range).

A huge thing though that Marketing Managers in small companies fail on...

They don't figure out ways to objectively measure what they're doing and the results they get. ROI becomes a four-letter word... or is just plain missing from their vocabulary.

In other words, they do a lousy job of marketing their own value.

Thanks for these great tips on what not to do!

Matt Anderson

The article is very true and it reflects certain market place hurdles faced by companies trying to provide digital strategies and solutions that activate 'traditional media'. However, while mentioned at the end of the article, it should be further emphasised that the company must also be ready for such change, including C-Suite executives, Boards, department heads, etc. To simple task the CMO with being a visionary change agent (which they should be) but to not create an atmosphere supportive of the changes creates a scenario where resistance takes hold and friction builds. A corporate initiative to enbrace new media must be clearly communicated by a CEO downward to pave the road for change or the CMO is simply isolated as a lone voice with perhaps implied support. Avoiding the pitfall of dissent and the internal politics that follow is imperative to create conditions that allow success.


Well done! I could not agree more, being in the industry as a marketing company.

The Baldchemist

Most CMO's get fired because they have no idea how to create interesting media.
I see the same sad copy and cliches in 80% of published media.
The art in marketing is getting the demographic interest without the kicking and screaming.
Too many quoting others work (or stealing it) and claiming it as original work is not what marketing is about.
Dare to be different- not for difference sake of it though. There is a whole new demographic of thinkers out there that want to be courted as premium. Nice article though. Thanks
Good luck.The Baldchemist

Jonathan Steele

This is so timely.

I am just submitting to a request for a resume tomorrow to a small cap company to take on this job. They have been without a CMO for a few months now.

The challenge as I see it will be to get the company to adopt the new marketing paradigm shift. For instance, their web site lands at about 250 on the search results even though they are the market leaders.

If I get/take the position...your information provided the way for me to frame this as a threat and once buy-in is obtained, a way to frame it as an opportunity.

Thanks for the great info.

Kevin Clancy

Great topic.

CMOs do have a sorry lot in corporate life these days. When ANA CEO Bob Liodice wrote on his blog a few months back that "CEOs understand that the pathway to higher shareholder value is through the marketing department's door," he obviously must have meant it aspirationally.

But I'm not sold on the situation being totally out of the hands of CMOs to fix, as the IBD article seemed to conclude.

Sure, there are some inherent difficulties with corporate structure and the "ill-defined role" of the CMO. But poor marketing performance isn't the result of these organizational problems.

CMOs would go along way towards improving their career prospects if they put a sound marketing strategy in place to drive instead of drag organic growth. Get targeting and positioning right and everything else--including job security--will fall into place.

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