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A Chief Marketing Officer Who Gets It

Christos Georghiou

Real marketing is about maximizing assets in behalf of revenue, if you're the CMO.

In a never-ending quest to differentiate real marketing from simply advertising, promotion and selling, I have found a supporter. Maryam Banakarim is the chief marketing officer of Gannett Corporation, and she doesn’t sound like just another sales or advertising manager who was promoted with a marketing title on a business card.

In her words, “A chief marketing officer should always be focused on ways to generate growth. CMOs should champion the consumer. Drive innovation, and be a source of identifying new marketing opportunities. As a partner to the CEO, she has to think like a general manager and understand all aspects of the business.”

A few more of her thoughts include that CMOs need to be able to see around corners, anticipate customer needs, come up with new ideas. A CMO should create a sales organization that answers to the CMO.

Not surprisingly, she says that numerous executives have told her that she’s not the typical CMO. I’ll second that. The typical CMO has no clue that he’s supposed to be doing what she does. Those focus on their jobs. She focuses on the total business, gaining insight on where the marketplace is heading. All with the goal of growing the business.

She says if you’re not focused on revenue, you shouldn’t be CMO. That’s what real marketing is about, maximizing assets in behalf of revenue.

To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com

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