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posted 4 months ago

Is It Time to Bring Marketing to the Boardroom?

Feature Post by Mitch Lipon, CEO of Ignite XDS

It should come as no surprise that most companies today are guided by an executive team, or Board of Directors, that is highly focused on financial matters and risk management. It should also be no shock that a successful, well-run company should pay very careful attention to its books and operations, while carefully managing risk. However, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that someone trained to understand the consumer, the competition, and the sales landscape, with an ability to translate that knowledge into growth strategies, would be just as important? After all, without revenue and growth, all the financial expertise in the world would simply be used to oversee the stagnation or demise of the organization.

I was once scolded by a professor from none other than Babson College, one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurial colleges, about how important financial reports and accounting practices were to the business decision-making process. He saw them as “so significant” that it was as if they were the only things that mattered. Funny thing was…I didn’t disagree. Well, I didn’t disagree much. I was left to wonder, however, about the top number on every financial report I’d ever seen. I thought to myself, ”Isn’t that number always related to revenue? And…If that number is ZERO, wouldn’t the rest of it be easy to understand?”

The question is – Why is the voice of marketing being ignored and often left out of the highest levels of company decision-making?

Perhaps it’s time to take a real look at how corporate decision-making is structured. A recent study showed that only 2.6% of all corporate board members have managerial-level marketing experience. Yet, the same study found that companies that utilize more marketers in executive leadership outperform the others in shareholder value. In addition, a separate study by Bain & Company discovered that while 80% of C-Level executives feel their company is delivering on its brand’s promise, only 8% of their customers actually agree. By any measure, a 72% variant is significant.

Together these studies highlight a serious challenge to the C-Suite that is already facing a vastly different marketplace than that of even 5 years ago. How much should they trust the inexact science of the marketing team? Certainly, it’s not an easy question to answer. Yet just as certainly, it’s a dilemma that will require significant attention. Perhaps it’s time to take a look at your organization? Maybe a slightly different perspective in your Boardroom would yield very positive results?

Something to think about…

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