Why CMOs Are Failing and the way they could Rebuild C-Suite Relationships – ClickZ


A 2021 studies Boathouse found that while 86% of CEOs believe CMOs have the power to influence key decisions C-suite, only 32% of directors trust them. In theory, CEOs recognize the role that marketing managers can play. In practice, marketing managers fall short of expectations.

This shocking reality is reflected in the volatility of the CMO tenure. In 2021, the average CMO tenure was 40 months. The average CEO tenure was more than twice as long at 85 months. 80% of CEOs believe that this short tenure is due to CMO mistakes. In addition, there is also a lack of trust at the level of the manager, director and vice president. The number of external CMOs increased from 37% in 2020 to 45% in 2021.

Where CMOs go wrong

In the latest episode of the show The Marketing Masters Podcast, we talk to Kip Knight, founder of CMO Coaches. Kip shares his insights into this systemic problem and explores how marketing leaders can rebuild their business relationships.

Kip argues that the role of any great marketing or business leader is to strike a balance between growing your business and growing your team. However, he notes that there is a lack of alignment between marketing managers and other business stakeholders. For an industry that prides itself on understanding its audience, this is a huge problem.

Using some brilliant examples and analogies that Kip has picked up over his extensive career, including his time as CMO at Taco Bell, he explains the importance of educating yourself and your peers; stepping out of the comfort zone into non-marketing roles; and learning to speak business language.

Kip’s advice is a must-listen for any CMO, CEO, VP, or CMO who wants to step into a leadership position or build better business relationships with stakeholders.

Time stamps

0:26 – Introduction to Kip Knight

1:14 – What makes a great marketing manager?

2:09 – Why is the average CMO tenure so low?

3:59 – What is the most important step CMOs can take to rebuild their relationship with the C-Suite?

5.59 – What did you learn from the CFO about their position?

7:01- What practical steps do you have for marketing leaders who want to learn the language of business?

9:45 – Why should CMOs become generalists rather than specialists?

12:34 – What advice would you give to younger marketers looking to improve their accessibility to C-Suite jobs?

14:16 – What are the consequences for digital marketing if business relations do not improve?

16.13 – What is your opinion on ‘fractional joint market regulation’?

18.33 – Do you see marketing fragmenting into different departments of the company?

Kip Knight is an operating partner at Thomvest Ventures and is a founder CMO trainers. Over the past 40 years, he has worked in more than 60 countries in various marketing and general management roles, including General Manager for North Latin America, as well as Head of Marketing for KFC International. Kip was also the Chief Marketing Officer for Taco Bell.

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