Leading marketing during a downturn takes guts and grit. The old rules? They just do not apply, or are not enough to make sound choices.
That’s why I’m pleased to announce a special “guts and grit-building” LinkedIn Live Episode on October 14 at 1 pm ET.
My clients are privately telling me:
- The board expects more predictable results, even when customers keep changing buying habits and brands. Vanity metrics? Fuggetaboutit.
- Branding is falling out of favor while demand gen grabs more attention. This is leaving companies vulnerable to competitive attack, and random value interpretation.
- Teams remain more stressed and disengaged than ever. CFOs are asking CMOs to freeze hiring or expect layoffs to beef up the balance sheets. Work quality is at risk.
- A sizable number of seasoned marketing leaders are walking out the door – enjoying early retirement, 20%-70% salary bumps, and more flexible lifestyles. When they leave, core company knowledge and informal networks die.
- Peers in other departments are coming for Marketing’s budget. If CMOs cannot explain clearly why marketing investments are akin to their compounding 401K, then it’s no surprise.
- Modern marketing skills are simply table stakes. Growth leaders are also expected to understand and align their priorities with EX, ESG, and CX strategies. Most customers quickly and stridently change brands when they smell greenwashing, or a misalignment of a brand with their personal values.
These trends are not strictly based on my personal observations. KPMG’s 2022 CEO study just released and reported that ESG (environmental, social and governance) concerns can make or break a brand.
They found that 69% of the 1,331 executives surveyed “see stakeholder demand for increased reporting and transparency on ESG issues.” That’s quite a jump from 2021, when that figure was 58%.
Systems thinking, strategic analysis, strong integrated communications capacity, and peer sharing has never been more critical for a marketing leader.
It isn’t my nature to be an alarmist, nor a “glass half empty” leader. I would be remiss, however, if I did not share what I’m witnessing, and help my dear community adjust strategies accordingly.
Here’s one thing I hope we can accept: the old rules of marketing have become irrelevant.
What can you do to build new pathways to growth – even during the anticipated downturn?
Start by joining us on Friday, October 14 at 1 pm ET for a special LinkedIn Live.
Click here to register. (Can’t make it? Register for the replay).
My fellow LinkedIn Learning faculty friend, Robbie Kellman Baxter, invited me to discuss “The New Rules of Marketing.”
We both teach CMO Foundations courses: Become an Effective CMO (mine) and Working with Leadership and Boards (Robbie’s).
Wonder if this session is right for you? If you’re in a leadership role in the marketing organization, work with marketing leaders, or aspire to be one, you will not want to miss this dynamic session. We will share ways for you to manage up (to company leadership and your board), down (to the marketing team), outside (to investors and customers), and across (to your peers).
We will help you:
- Gain insights on how to balance the needs of marketing with those of the enterprise
- Level your thinking for conversations with investors
- Make digital transformation succeed
- Build a world-class marketing organization.
You’ll also hear true stories of what has worked—and gone horribly wrong—in the executive suite.
Join us on Friday 10/14 at 10AM Pacific (1PM Eastern) for a candid discussion, and bring your questions! Don’t follow the old rules—break them and build new ones.
P.S. Want access to our popular LinkedIn Learning Courses? Here you go:
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