Changing The CEO/CMO Conversation

[Warning: This post is most applicable to credit unions and community banks, and not so much to larger FIs. Maybe it is, but I would think not]

Credit union/community bank CMOs: Be honest, and put your marketing department in one of the four boxes below, derived by two dimensions:

  1. Does the CEO “get” marketing (i.e., does s/he really understand the marketing function, and understand how marketing can contribute–from both a tactical and strategic perspective–to the organization’s success)?
  2. Does marketing department “get it” (i.e., does marketing understand how it contributes both tactically and strategically, and does is actually effectively deliver on those contributions)?

I don’t know what percentage of CUs/community banks fall into each bucket. It might be an interesting exercise to devise a measurement mechanism to figure it out, and survey (or measure) FIs in order to determine the allocation, but I’m unlikely to do that in the foreseeable future. So I’ll let you self-select yourself into the matrix.


If you put your organization in the upper right hand quadrant, congratulations. Feel free to read the rest of the post, but you probably won’t learn anything (unless you deceived yourself into thinking you’re in the upper right hand quadrant, in which case, lean in a bit so I whack you upside the head).

If you’re in the upper left hand quadrant, you’re in trouble. You could probably benefit from changing the CEO/CMO conversation, but it’s you who needs to change the nature of the conversation, and what you need to be communicating is what you plan to do to up Marketing’s game. BS won’t work–remember, the CEO “gets” marketing.

If you’re in the lower half of the 2×2, you could benefit from changing the CEO/CMO conversation.

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