For years, as marketers, we've felt that we haven't had a seat at the table. We're often told to "stay in our lane" and focus on advertising, promotion, and communications—our traditional bailiwicks—though we know full well that we can have a much more profound organizational impact.

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And when we don't feel as if we have the ability to impact other areas, it makes advertising and comms much more challenging.

A 2012 survey from the Fournaise Group brought a staggering fact to light: 80% of CEOs don't trust their CMOs. And when you consider that many consumers think that marketing is designed to get them to do something they wouldn't normally do, it's no wonder that we marketers sometimes feel that we're being assaulted from all sides.

Award-winning creative and marketing leader Michael Barber joins Marketing Smarts in this episode to talk through some of the struggles marketers and marketing leaders are experiencing, as well as some ways that marketers can gain influence and authority.

As Michael tells us, part of the erosion of authority stems from the fact that CMOs and marketers are constantly being asked to evolve, to adopt new tactics, channels, platforms, and technologies. Contrast that with the challenges faced by, say, the CFO and the finance group: Their work is much more static and repetitive and doesn't require the same rapid pace of change.

Instead, marketers are always left feeling that we need to be chasing the next shiny thing so that we can meet expectations. We're not left with long enough periods of time to focus and really master our craft.

Moreover, organizations have not done a great job of creating a clear path for growth for marketers, and the end result is that marketers tend to jump ship more often so that they can make more money, get a better title, and progress in their careers.

To combat this state of affairs, marketers and CMOs need to demonstrate their humility, empathy, and unique perspectives that Marketing brings, as well as speak in the language the C-suite can rally behind. That said, CEOs in turn need to immerse themselves in the marketing world to appreciate what Marketing does. It's a problem that we to have approach from both sides of the divide.

The truth is, we marketers are the closest connection to your customers. We hear what they complain about and what they love. We're listening via social and internal feedback. We're charged with watching how the creative space responds to what we're doing. And it's precisely that spot, where the barrier between the customer and the organization is at its thinnest and where marketing can directly influence the customer experience, that is of vital importance to every single department.

And the more impact we can have across the entire customer experience, the easier it is to do our job.

To hear more such great insights from Michael, join us at the Email Marketing Friday Forum on February 12 (available on-demand after).

Listen to the entire show now from the link above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes, via Spotify, or via RSS and never miss an episode.

This episode is brought to you by Rollworks:


RollWorks offers B2B companies of any size an account-based platform to align their marketing and sales teams and confidently grow revenue. Powered by machine learning and an extensive account data foundation, RollWorks helps you identify your target accounts, engage them with digital ads, web personalization, email signatures, and sales automation, and measure the effectiveness of your programs. For more information and a free demo, visit

"Marketing Smarts" theme music composed by Juanito Pascual of Signature Tones.


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