By Adam Fraser
A common theme on both the EchoJunction blog and EchoJunction podcast over the last 12 months has been the issue of short-term tactical execution overriding the importance of long-term strategic planning and brand building, in the marketing sector.
On the podcast, Professor Mark Ritson talked about the ‘tactification’ of marketing, JP Hanson discussed the optimum balance for branding vs activation and former ANZ Bank CMO Louise Eyres discussed the challenge of internally managing board expectations around the long-term v short-term results.
An excellent recent article on the Rogue Marketing website on the tenure of CMOs pulled together some interesting stats and analysis very much pertinent to this topic. It’s an excellent piece, well worth a read, but the spoiler alert is simple – CMO tenures are declining, with Harvard Business Review reporting 57% of CMOs have been in their position three years or less and Korn Ferry data showing CMOs have the shortest average tenure of any role within the C suite.
If CMOs are lasting less and less time in their role, the opportunity for genuine long-term strategic planning and execution early diminishes.
The article explores possible drivers of this trend – CEO expectations, clarity of role description and a general lack of patience.
There are also a range of enterprise-wide issues in play here; culture, incentive models, change management, org structures to name just a few.
Whether a symptom or cause, the longevity of CMOs is a key issue for boards and CEOs to address if they truly want marketing to build strong brands for the long term, based on multi-year, rather than month to month, strategic planning.