Marketers must make changes

02 October 2009

ZURICH: Senior marketers have the potential to be real drivers of business growth, but the majority remain constrained by a narrow mindset and a propensity to move jobs too quickly, according to a leading industry consultant.

Scott Davis, a senior partner at the brand strategy firm Prophet, told delegates at the Second European Chief Marketing Officer Conference in Zurich yesterday that marketing remained under-valued, and is in need of “visionary marketers” able to raise and broaden their role to that of “strategic leader".

He cited the tendency of top marketers to change jobs on a frequent basis as a major hindrance to progress, pointing out that the average chief marketing officer moves on at least once every two and half years. This compares to the average of four years among chief finance officers, and over six years for chief executives.

When surveyed by Prophet earlier this year, 70% of top marketers said they expected to spend less than a total of three years in their present position. Davis described the situation as “the marketing doom loop”.

He described a series of key changes marketers need to make to realise their full potential, headed by a move away from the narrow implementation of marketing strategy to a more holistic, ambitious agenda that drives overall business impact.

His other recommendations, which echo his recently-published book, The Shift, included harnessing networks, championing innovation and moving from an operational to an emphatically customer-driven approach.

“There's no bigger growth engine than marketing,” he told the conference. “But at the moment, it's an under-leveraged asset.”

A full report from this event will be available on Warc next week.

Data sourced from Warc