Did you know that over the past two decades the number of marketers that have become CEOs has consistently declined? The creative and impactful energy that is inherent in marketers would seemingly be excellent attributes for potential CEOs. In order to decrease this trend going forward, we first need to consider why it is that those who drive new business have lost their voice at the executive table.
Over the years, marketing has undergone a significant transformation. What started out as a glorified game of assumptions and pure intuition has become one of the most closely monitored, measured and benchmarked departments of any business. However, with a multitude of ways to scale impact, marketers have begun to speak a different language than your typical CEO. We've started to speak in "likes", "tweets", "branded vs. non-branded search traffic", "social following" and other ambiguous terms that lack a clear connection to typical financial drivers CEOs rely on to monitor a business's health. The new wave of marketing has brought about a scattered effect on strategy. With so many platforms to reach our customers, marketers have become increasingly results-oriented, often recommending tools before developing an underlying strategy. And even though marketers have become extremely adept in practices like social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and so forth, the tactical focus has increased the divide between CEO and marketer.
So what can a marketer do to increase their share of voice with the CEO?
Focus on becoming strategic, cross-functional and bottom line oriented.
So, if you aspire to reach the C-level or want to increase your voice at the executive table, it is time to forget the tactics and focus on strategy. Work to fill your toolkit with as many areas of expertise as possible, and once you conquer one, demand another. Become proficient in the language of CEOs who inspire you. And finally, start understanding and communicating in terms that drive businesses. Because, once you have become strategic, cross-functional and bottom line oriented, nothing can stop you.
Matt Reilly, Associate Consultant, eBoost Consulting
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