An open letter to all chief executives

David Pearson

Dear CEO,

Here are ten things that CEOs need to understand about how to make their marketing function contribute more (and the ten things you should not do).

1 Product:

Do get the product (or service) right. Marketing plays a key role here because it is, or should be, its responsibility to develop and test the product. Up to 90% of new products fail so it is clear that many CEOs have not got the right processes in place.

2 Price:

Do get the price right. This too is a marketing responsibility. It is not about marking up the input costs but maximising the value in the marketplace. There are different pricing models but all should be based on the idea of delivering value to the end user.

3 Place, or distribution:

Do make sure you hear the voice of your end user. In general, if you sell your product though distribution to end users (B2C) then you need to hear the voice of your company's customers through sales, who should be represented in the boardroom. You also need to hear the voice of your end user or consumer through marketing, which should also be represented in the boardroom. If you sell your product directly to end users for their own use (B2B) then there is just one voice to be heard and it is probably best though a combined sales and marketing function.