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Why Marketing Belongs in the Boardroom

Steve Olenski
Master Principal Sales Architect

Credibility in the boardroom is measured in hard numbers. For marketers, earning a spot alongside the CEO and CFO comes down to being able to demonstrate how they add value to the business in terms that decision-makers can easily understand.

The above was culled directly from a new research paper produced by Econsultancy in partnership with Oracle Marketing Cloud: Marketers in the Boardroom. The aim of the research was to explore the role of marketing on the board. Given the fact that we are a time where business is more data-driven than ever, the need for marketers to help their fellow business leaders put the customer at the center of the business to deliver sustainable, long-term growth that satisfies every stakeholder is vital. 

The bottom line is always the bottom line so the first step for CMOs and marketers is to gain credibility for the positive impact that marketing activities have on sales, financial performance and the customer experience because concrete figures are the currency of boardroom decision-making and CMOs must be able to clearly discuss what they do in terms of its financial and strategic impact to play an active role in key decision-making.

A Global Phenomenon 

Bringing marketers to the board is largely a global phenomenon with both European and North American companies seeing marketers making inroads at the top level. However the rest of world picture is a little more fragmented.

In Australia, for example a brief survey of the top 10 companies as ranked by Business Insider, marketing experience is making it to both board of directors and executive leadership levels, however, very rarely is this in the form of a single marketing director or CMO. Typically it involves someone with a management consulting background who has overseen marketing strategy.

But make no mistake about it, CMOs/marketers deserve to be on the board, for as Pete Markey, CMO, The Post Office (UK) says, it's all about who knows the customer better? "What gives marketers huge authority is their ownership of the customer. From the insight and analytics perspective – what trends are they buying, the context of marketing’s opportunity and responsibility to bring thing to the table that other parts of the business can’t access."

Randall Rozin, Global Director, Brand Management and Digital Marketing, Dow Corning says he thinks of marketing as a GPS for the organization. "Taking readings from the market, triangulating customer needs and translating that into the insights that focus the sales forces and help a company focus externally, squarely on the customer and the market. This is needed at board level to counter a traditionally inside-out focus.”

Download Marketers in the Boardroom to learn how a marketer can get a seat on the board, how marketing and the board can live in harmony and a whole lot more. 

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Jeff Epstein Thursday, February 11, 2016
    This article begs the question 'how do I get the numbers?' Sales has CRM, Finance has ERP and Accounting, what does Marketing have to generate insight into campaigns and programs? A platform is needed that connects budgeting and expenses directly to campaigns, and from there directly to revenue. Full disclosure: that's what Allocadia does.
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