What makes a marketing prof the toughest job?

Inspired by the wonderful ‘CEO perspective on why CMO is the hardest job to get right’, I have been thinking lately about what makes it is so tough for a marketing professor or professional (hereafter ‘marketing prof’).

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I see three:

  1. TAS: Technologist +Artist + Scientist: Today’s marketing prof has to understand the technology to envision the right interaction systems, the artistry to inspire customers, and the science to calculate the impact of marketing actions and environmental forces. Most functions are left or right brained. The marketing prof has to be whole-brained. In other words, help your creative cats to bring home the bacon! https://analyticdashboards.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/help-your-creative-cats-bring-home-the-bacon-whos-afraid-of-accountability/Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 3.15.48 PM.png
  2. Ambidextrous. The marketing prof still needs to get the right message to the right customer at the right time, but now lives in a much more complex world. Channels have proliferated (video, voice, text, social, location, Snap,…) and so have options within channels. The marketing prof has to adapt quickly and understand how to create synergies, execute consistent branding differently across different channels and micro-targets, and add the new without neglecting the old, as “TV is not dead: It’s Not the Size of the Screen, It’s How You Use It’ https://analyticdashboards.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/tv-ads-are-not-dead-its-not-the-size-of-the-screen-its-how-you-use-it/Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 3.17.44 PM
  3. Linguist. Beyond marketing lingo, the marketing prof has to speak in the language of finance (for ROI and budgets), HR (for hiring and training the best marketers and customer-facing employees), strategy (for helping the whole company grow profitably) etc. “Marketing metrics are typically not used by these other functions, and rather than them figuring out how to connect the metrics, the onus is on marketing to do so” (Whitler 2018) https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlywhitler/2018/06/09/a-ceos-perspective-on-why-the-cmo-job-is-the-hardest-to-get-right/#2e0cb818481e

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What do you think makes the marketing prof job so tough? And what and whom has helped you overcome such challenges? Let us know!


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