Delusions Of Marketing Grandeur

In an article on, Jeff Mucci writes:

“More and more companies are attempting to become “marketing focused/led” rather than sales or financially driven….A bona fide, world-class marketing-led organization has a clear long-term focus on core items such as retention, customer satisfaction, customer experience management, and lifetime value of a customer. Conversely, a sales- or financially driven organization is primarily focused on acquisition, revenue, market share, and price/costs.”

I beg to differ. CMOs that think that they can change the prevailing culture of their organization may be suffering from delusions of marketing grandeur. World-class marketing organizations: 1) maximize their contribution within their firms’ culture, and 2) focus on retention, satisfaction, etc. and acquisition, revenue, share, and price/costs.

Where does marketing come off thinking its job is to change the prevailing culture of the firm? CMOs that struggle to demonstrate the ROI of their marketing investments are ill-advised to change the culture of the organization (unless the business is seriously dire straits, but that describes few companies).

Marketers gain credibility within their firms when they speak the language that the powers that be speak — and if the prevailing language is acquisition, revenue, share, and profitability, then that’s the language marketing should be speaking.

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