The current issue of Business Week has an extensive article on the short tenure of CMOs. It seems that they have a shorter life than any other position in the C-suite.
This really isn’t very surprising to us. After all, few people define “marketing” correctly, in our opinion, and as the article so well documents, few CEOs can define the role of the CMO well.
It’s impossible to define a management role for a function that’s not well defined, and we believe that that’s the root cause of the issue. As we detail in the book, defining marketing (as a process) is the first step to managing it. Which is why we propose our process-based model of marketing, the Customer Manufacturing System.
One of the blowbacks from this confusion is that there’s a movement afoot to do away with the CMO role and go back to dividing up marketing responsibility among the sales VP, CIO, COO and CFO. We think that this is precisely the wrong thing to do; why go back to something that wasn’t working to begin with? Further, marketing is a process, and like all essential processes, it cuts across the old functional lines. Like all essential processes, it too should be managed by a process owner: the CMO.
The real issue is to define marketing properly by a correct process model.