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I recently had a chance to participate in a panel discussion of CMOs as change-management operators at a recent event put on by IQPC CMO Exchange – Miami in January, 2013. From my perspective, there are two camps of marketing people – those that have a big “M” role and participate in the most fundamental strategy and business decisions of a company  and those who sit in a tactical marketing roles and worry when the next data sheet drop will occur. I am exaggerating the two extremes, of course, but this is a serious issue. Many CMOs are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to managing change within their organizations. Some CMOs are not allowed to contribute and others do not know how.

More than any other business function; the CMO and marketing-department roles have changed in rapid and radical ways during the past few years.

Here is an excerpt from the post about my time as a change-management operation at at Eastman Kodak.

Vince Ferraro (@VinceLFerraro), former VP Global Strategy & Marketing, Corporate & Consumer Group, at Eastman Kodak, and a global B2B and B2C brand-building veteran, had a fascinating set of “Kodak moments” to share.

“Much has been written about growing brands and businesses to new levels of success. Surprisingly, little has been written about how to manage a brand when a company and its products and services are in decline,” he said. “Such was the case when I managed corporate and consumer marketing during Eastman Kodak’s Chapter 11.”

Ferraro said he learned valuable change-management operator lessons during that time–lessons that, ironically, can be applied to companies that are growing and vibrant:

  • Do not expect a call to be a leader. Just act and do. Lead the change you want to have happen.
  • Know the limits of your brand.
  • Know when to let go of unprofitable customers. If you try to please everyone, you will wind up pleasing no one.
  • Tell your unique brand story and value proposition, and be in control of it versus letting everybody else define what your brand story is.
  • In an age of dynamic changes, learning how to deconstruct marketing functions and budgets is as valuable as constructing marketing functions and budgets.
  • Using a zero-based approach to marketing budgets along with having meaningful metrics and analytics to measure results is necessary to identify what resources you should keep, discard, or outsource.
  • Do the fundamentals exceptionally well before you “experiment” with new marketing techniques.

Read the entire article at the link below:

http://www.cmo.com/articles/2013/2/19/the_cmo_as_change_ma.html

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Vincent Ferraro
Vince Ferraro is a creative general management executive who contributes his world-class, Fortune 100 marketing knowledge to infuse new revenue and market share growth strategies while maintaining profitability. His bold moves, competitive instincts, and experience working on three continents are the perfect match for a Consumer or B2B technology company with global ambitions.

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