It’s more common for CEOs to come from the financial rather than the marketing department, but by adapting language, that leap can be simplified.

Chris Pitt – former marketing chief at HSBC UK – is now the chief of First Direct, an online-focussed subsidiary.

In short, leading a company means choosing where to place investments for growth and making sure they pay off, he explained recently.

“It’s exposed me to the fact that when I’m selling to a CEO as a CMO, I’m competing with so many other things for their investment.”

  • Many marketers get caught up in the discipline’s language rather than the terms of business.
  • It is easy to get lost in marketing’s sense of value while forgetting that there is ultimately a competition for investment.
  • Educating the rest of the business in marketing’s capabilities is crucial to counteract mistaken ideas of how it actually works.

Bottom line:

“I went to the group CFO and said, ‘For every million pounds you give me, this is what I turn it into.’ That changes the very nature of the conversation”.

Read more: From CMO to CEO: Talking the language of business at First Direct

Sourced from WARC