Marketers need to stop “dithering,” Jeff Goodby, co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, told the AANA Reset conference yesterday.
Being the CMO was the hardest job in business, he said, but marketers must stop stalling and do something different.
When the average tenure for a chief marketer is now sitting at 2.5 years in the US, marketers don't have time to stall, and drag out lengthy pitch processes, research projects before actually executing anything.
“It's an important lesson to learn to not waste our time... if the average CMO tenure is just over two years, you don't have that much time to get stuff done. Do you really want to use half that time pronouncing your predecessor a complete idiot, firing the agency, conducting a research project to find out why the brand has stalled, hiring an agency search consultant, meeting dozens of agencies all over the world, narrowing the field once or twice, holding tissue sessions and final presentations, hiring an agency, developing a new campaign, launching a new campaign, waiting for the new campaign to gain traction enough to replace the old campaign, which has either gone stale or not been running at all through the process, causing everyone in the chief suite to start glancing at their watches and wondering what's going on. You can tell I've been through a couple of experiences like this... I don't like them!” Goodby said.
He claims fewer and fewer CMOs are willing to take responsibility for doing something different, and deflect the task to agency partners.
“You have to be brave to do it and CMOs are finding ingenious ways to deflect it on to agencies and the people around them," he added.
“It's not healthy. It's dithering. There is too much comfort in inaction. It’s expensive, and it's expensive for your career.”
Goodby believes marketers just need to move more quickly. If a CMO wants a new agency in a month, they should tell the pitch consultant and it will happen. Likewise with new work, if the client tells the new agency it wants new work within a month – it will happen.
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