Is IDC loosing relevance on marketing?


The IDC released a preview of their upcoming report, IDC’s 7th Annual Tech Mktg. Benchmarks Study.  I was stunned at the marketing kingdom protection rhetoric and support of empire building for marketing leaders. Most of the trends were aspects that have been underway for some time — shifting budget online, focusing on sales and marketing alignment. Where is the insight?

On a related note, it has been a while since publishing a meaty post due to finishing a research project for CMG Partners called CMO 2.0: The next step in the evolution of the Chief Marketing Officer. The executive summary is out today and you can sign-up for the free full report to be released to the public on Oct. 26th.

It is the CMO 2.0 research that forces me to question IDC’s relevance. In speaking with 30+ CMOs in this latest round and 60+ to date, we propose an evolution is occurring in marketing leadership.  CMOs of the future will be much more like what we have coined as a “Chief Transformational Officer”. This attainment is earned by demonstrating enterprise value not creating empires or protecting kingdoms as IDC suggests.

To earn the broader, more strategic role described above, lead marketers must accept accountability for business drivers and demonstrate impact. Three components include:

  • Accountability for revenue: Marketing should be driving the business, but this role is earned, not a birthright. Demonstrating value can take many forms, but a central theme was accountability for sales or revenue, which ultimately provides the opportunity to have a greater voice in setting business direction and more latitude to experiment.
  • Cut first or be cut: In the downturn, marketers that were fairing better emotionally and professionally made the first move in identifying where dollars could be conserved, and how to shift resources to higher quality or more measurable initiatives. In doing, so they clearly demonstrated corporate citizenship over defense of the marketing kingdom, and earned the respect of their peers.
  • Adopting the role of strategic advisor: Market-driven processes like new product development or voice of the customer programs provided a more rigorous and formal opportunity for marketing to assume a leadership role. Many leaders are using external market-facing processes such as these to increase influence in other areas like engineering, operations and customer service, and step closer to the role of strategic advisor.

What are your thoughts? Which side of the fence do you support?

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