Whoa -- and Hurray. I just read Ben McConnell's post Marketing isn't broke; it's broken....
Even though he cites the research of Forrester's Peter Kim, it's clear Ben is pretty peeved. As for me, I am at once astounded that these issues are being addressed in "traditional" companies, and thrilled that the evidence and potential solutions are being put out on the table.
Kim surveyed more than a hundred companies. (I've sent a note to him asking if any were professional service or business-to-business service firms.) He says marketers have "lost their authority in the organization." Kim's research found that "only 15% of them have authority over the four marketing Ps (pricing, place, promotion and product)." And "76% of the [marketers at] companies surveyed do not influence or own customer service."
The study concludes that:
To regain effectiveness, marketers must transition to a Customer-Centric Marketing Organization. Doing so requires: 1) redesigning P&Ls and metrics; 2) shifting culture away from marketing communications; 3) investing in a customer relationship infrastructure; and 4) rethinking agency relationships.
Yikes! Many of you know that I have harped a lot about the importance of professional service marketers expanding their roles to become more strategically valuable to their firms. I have advocated precisely some of the points that Forrester makes in its research. (How PSF marketers should insist on more rigorous marketing metrics, expand beyond their traditionally trapped marcom roles, and lead professional organizations to become more client- and marketplace-driven.)
But I must admit it's depressing as well. Why is it not obvious that PSF marketers should have purview over marketplace decisions (like pricing, for example)? And IMO it's a no-brainer that PSF marketers should lead client service and the measurement of client satisfaction.
Ben McConnell concludes his post with a call for companies to have a CMO. I'd add to that. Make sure they are allowed to be effective and allowed to lead the firm toward substantive competitive gains. And professional firm CMOs themselves must begin the previously unthinkable: insisting upon more substantive authority within their firms.
Take the first step (it's free).
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