Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The changing MO of the CMO

"To say that Public Relations should report to Marketing is blasphemy," said MaryLee Sachs, founder, CEO and CMO of Changing MO LLC, in a recent speech at the Public Relations Society of America Leadership Rally.

social media strategy
MaryLee Sachs, Founder, CEO and CMO of Changing MO LLC
It's a frequent question -- where should PR reside in an organization? Well, it depends. Sachs cited a Marketing 50 One report in which respondents said that PR should be:  (1) Under the Marketing department, (2) A split or dual report under Marketing and another division, or (3) Elsewhere, but aligned with Marketing.

Sachs pointed out that larger organizations' marketing groups have less authority over PR, because they are more siloed.

Next, Sachs addressed how reputation and brand are converging. According to her, there are three considerations to guide the way:
  1. Macro-economic forces and industry-specific factors
  2. Word of mouth gaining strength
  3. A clear relationship between reputation and brand.
As reputation and brand are converging, major changes in marketing are taking place.

First is globalization. Either your company is global -- or you are competing against a foreign company. Second, marketers often are in charge of one of the four Ps (Promotion). (Product, Price and Place are the other three.) Next, the marketing funnel has changed (look at Sachs' Pinterest site for a collection of marketing funnels). Finally, chief marketing officers are needing to engage with new segments and targets.

Sachs, author of "The Changing MO of the CMO," quoted Beth Comstock of GE when highlighting the increased need for analytics:  "If you're a marketer who doesn't like data and insights, you're not going to have a very long tenure. You gotta love this stuff."

Even though Sachs said that PR should not report to Marketing, she wrapped up her presentation by giving advice to PR professionals wanting to take a more active role in marketing:  (1) Get experience in all forms of marketing and brand building, (2) Stake your claim in digital, and (3) Create big ideas.
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