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.

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Suzanne Lowe is founder of Expertise Marketing, LLC and author of The Integration Imperative: Erasing Marketing and Business Development Silos – Once and For All – in Professional Service Firms and Marketplace Masters: How Professional Services Firms Compete to Win. She blogs at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix and her own blog, the Expertise Marketplace.

Before founding Expertise Marketing in 1996, Ms. Lowe spent more than a decade leading the marketing programs for top-tier management consulting and business-to-business organizations. Before that, she spent more than a decade managing and implementing strategies for political candidates and organizations.

She spearheads the only widely disseminated research initiative on strategic marketing perceptions, practices and performance of professional service firms around the globe.

In addition, Suzanne Lowe has written or been quoted in nearly 100 articles on the topic of professional services marketing strategy. Her work has appeared in the a rel="nofollow" href="https://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b01/en/hbr/hbr_home.jhtml">Harvard
Business Review, BusinessWeek.com, CMO Magazine, Harvard
Management Update
, and scores of profession-specific magazines and journals, including MarketTrends, Marketer, Marketing the Law Firm, Accounting Today, Engineering, Consultants News, Structure, Journal of Law Office Economics and Management, The Practicing CPA, Environmental Design and Construction, Massachusetts High Tech, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and the Legal Marketing Association’s Strategy. She is a contributor to the second edition of the book Marketing
Professional Services
, by Kotler, Hayes and Bloom. She has also been instrumental in the development, writing and publication of five books and nearly 50 articles and book chapters for her consulting clients.

Suzanne speaks regularly around the world to leading trade associations, industry groups and in-house firm audiences. Her work has also been presented internationally, most recently at the American Marketing Association's annual Frontiers in Services conference. She facilitates a Roundtable of Chief Marketing Officers from some of the world's largest and most prestigious professional service firms. She has guest-lectured at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and designs and delivers customized executive education programs in marketing for professional service executives.

She advises the leaders of professional service firms, from small start-up practices to large global organizations.

Ms. Lowe received a B.A. from Duke University.