A few weeks ago I get a call from Gary Stern, a columnist for Investors Business Daily.
Gary says, "I'm doing a story on the average tenure of Chief Marketing Officers, which is only 26 months. This is much shorter than 44 months, which is how long CEOs last. Can you comment?"
"Oh, boy can I," I say. "How much time do you have?"
(I could talk about this all day.)
We ended up talking for about a half hour. Basically I ranted. A lot.
I didn't give my opinions in quite this way, but here's a few ideas to let you know what I think:
> CMOs get fired because they would rather spend money on a PR agency to spam the media than be thought leaders that the media seeks out.
> CMOs get fired because they measure themselves on leads and press clips instead of what the marketplace thinks about their company and its products and services.
> CMOs get fired because they would rather spend millions on TV commercials than figure out how to get a free YouTube video that goes viral.
> CMOs get fired because they ________ (fill in the blank – there are many more reasons).
(And once they are fired and are looking for a new job, ex-CMOs obsess about resumes and networking and spamming people via LinkedIn instead of blogging, speaking, and writing about what they are passionate about.)
Gary did a terrific job with the article. It is slated for the print edition of IBD on Monday February 4. But here is a sneak peek via CNN online:
Gary's article begins:
"Warning: If you're seeking job security, don't think about becoming a chief marketing officer. Over the last few months, the CMOs of Home Depot, Wendy's, Rite Aid, and Chico's CHS changed over."