CMO Breakfast Roundtable: Are CFOs Your New Best Friend?

suti / 123RF Stock PhotoSome marketing leaders in these sectors are developing preventive (versus contingent) strategies to thrive in the emerging, ambiguous competitive landscape. Many will barely survive and compete on price; others will invent new approaches to reach customers, build patient communities, and innovate how they deliver services.

Now is the time to explore, identify, and implement proactive marketing strategies. Waiting another 1-2 months may be too late. These are some strategic questions to ask during your next marketing planning meeting:

  1. What are the biggest threats and pressures we face in today’s volatile political climate and economy?
  2. What are the biggest causes of eroding customer trust? (healthcare and automobile manufacturing companies should have no trouble finding answers here).
  3. What can we do to earn (or regain) trust in our communities?
  4. Who are the unforeseen competitors in our field?
  5. What can we do to become “go to” sources as wellness providers, versus sick care providers?
  6. How do we thrive in spite of today’s regulatory constraints?
  7. How will the values of our practice guide all marketing content and programs? Who are our cultural ambassadors?
  8. Where can patient (or customer) community building help us create breakthrough offerings (both online and offline)?
  9. What marketing and customer strategies can we apply from market makers such as Zappos, Wells Fargo, Google, Amazon, and others?
  10. How do we organize our company, based on answers to 1-8?


One of my healthcare clients is asking these tough questions now, and gaining some excellent (yet sobering) insights. Be sure to consider them before your company needs life support.

copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

You will also enjoy these posts:

How Marketing Leaders Can Secure a Seat in the C-Suite
5 Ways to Earn Customer Trust and Create Demand
4 Timeless Qualities Of Strategic Marketing Leaders

It’s unanimous: The CFO is one of the most influential allies that a CMO can have, yet they are often the most underutilized. During my CMO Breakfast Roundtable last week, participants learned how to tap into the financial and strategic wisdom of their finance teams and build strong bridges of trust.

Aaron, Lisa & Don--courtesy of Lisa Nirell

photo courtesy of Lisa Nirell

Now in its third year, my CMO Breakfast Roundtables dive deeply into the strategic opportunities today’s marketing leaders face. The sessions are confidential, agency-free, and highly interactive. Unlike networking events or crowded wine soirees, these programs create a safe haven for CMOs to share their toughest issues, and develop action plans to address them.

CFO guest panelists Aaron Benway of HelloWallet and Don Clarke of Plex Systems (formerly with Eloqua) provided the group with practical financial leadership advice and fresh insights.

Our private discussion helped participants: 1) identify the most common roadblocks to building strong bonds with finance; 2) establish marketing budgeting guidelines; and 3) commit to actionable strategies that improve relationships with their CFO. We addressed three areas: CFO Trends, root cause for CMO-CFO dissonance, and recommendations.

The participants represented a variety of industries, including: internet merchants, industrial suppliers, technology services, software, healthcare, professional services, energy, and IT security. Celerity hosted the event.

You’ll be hearing more about our key findings shortly. In the meantime, if you would like the full MP3 transcript and handout, join our Making Marketing Waves community.

copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

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