Commit to Becoming
a Marketing-led
Organization

The market is swimming in undifferentiated products, bloated value propositions, interchangeable messages, and unprecedented numbers of competitors in all categories. Try attending the RSNA or HIMSS annual trade shows. You’ll be assaulted by sameness on a colossal scale. The sales process is longer and costlier than ever, and margins are dropping. Start-ups are getting crushed with a near 100% failure rate. Never has there been a more 
urgent need for CEOs to invest in marketing and begin reversing this trend.

The marketing discipline has become devalued

  • Many CEOs see marketing as overhead. As a cost center. As a waypoint you rotate in and out of as you climb the company
 ladder to bigger and better things.
  • They don’t see it as a strategic differentiator, a business driver, or as a competitive advantage.
  • Many CEOs come from sales. They see sales as a strategic leader, and they expect marketing to play a supporting role, 
instead of the other way around.

Marketing revaluation action plan
Pilot a new approach—one in which your marketing department and CEO elevate their commitment to each other—and to your organization. Document your progress. Establish momentum. Go horizontally across your organization. Hone your process 
along the way. Follow this model to revalue your marketing department. Over time, after consistent success, a CMO role might emerge. Even better, your next CEO might emerge from it.

Step 1
Sell the CEO on the difference-making potential of marketing. Commit to performance that:

  • Nullifies your competitors’ agenda
  • Drives demand for what you uniquely offer
  • Shortens the sales cycle
  • Improves close rates and margins
  • Attracts top talent
  • Nurtures customer and sales rep loyalty
  • Creates a quantifiable ROI
  • Becomes a competitive advantage that competitors recognize as a threat

Step 2
In order to get the performance outlined in Step 1, the CEO must commit the following to marketing:

  • Expectations of a multi-year strategic plan
  • Culture change (e.g., more planning, less reacting)
  • Up-leveled staffing (e.g., more strategic marketers, fewer tactical marketers)
  • Appropriate marketing budgets
  • Investment in digital
  • Accountability to both the top and bottom lines
Tom Dudnyk
Written by: Tom Dudnyk
August 12, 2019
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