Sunday, June 10, 2007

CMOs get fired quickly in publicly traded firms

If I ever take a job as the Chief Marketing Officer of a publicly traded company, somebody shoot me. Because if you don't, odds are that company will, usually in 18 months of less.

In fact, 83% of CMOs at public companies say they've considered a move to a privately owned firm.

Why? Because good marketing is patient. Good marketing builds brands, and that takes years. I remember the day I realized the dot com craze was being driven by knuckleheads. It was when I read a quote from a marketing guy saying, "We're building a brand. If it doesn't work, we'll just invest another $50 million and another 18 months and we'll be there." Huh? Pretty sure that guys out of a job--and certainly before he vested in his 401k.

Macy's just fired their CMO, after only 13 months on the job. Why? She wanted to build a brand, while Macy's wanted to see quarterly revenues grow. And how do you grow quarterly revenues? COUPONS! Woo hoo... How do you grow a brand? (I'll give a hint. It's not with coupons...)

I've always thought that working for a publicly traded company would be awful, and Sarbanes-Oxley made it worse. Now we see the CMOs getting axed...

Just like all agencies can't be bad, neither can this many CMOs... Beware the scourge of going public...