Translating CMO-Speak

The CMO Council always does a good job with their annual survey of marketing execs — this year’s report is no exception. A lot of interesting findings.

While reading through them, though, I couldn’t help but wonder if everyone understood what the execs surveyed were really saying. After all, they couch their true feelings in some kind of “CMO-speak.” So allow me, your humble blogger, to translate this year’s findings back into plain English:

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Finding: 79% of executives surveyed believe marketing is making significant or reasonable progress in improving the perceived value of the function.

Translation:
“My mother thinks I’m doing a great job.”

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Finding:
50% of CMOs are hired to fix broken marketing organizations.

Translation:
“The fact that I screwed things up so badly in my last job didn’t deter my new firm from hiring me to fix what my predecessor screwed up.”

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Finding:
45% of marketers expect to change their agency.

Translation: “Told you it wasn’t my fault things are screwed up.”

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Finding: 20% of marketers do not track and measure the return on their marketing spend.

Translation: “There’s nothing to track.”

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Finding: The top two areas for marketing dollar allocation in 2008 are: 1) strategy and branding, and 2) events and trade shows.

Translation:
“My wife likes to go to Las Vegas.”

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Finding: New competencies and capabilities are at the top of the list of organizational and operational changes planned for 2008.

Translation: “I have no idea what new competencies or capabilities I need to build, but I know that I need some new ones.”

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Finding: Peers are seen as the most trusted sources for marketing insight, information, and management practices.

Translation:
“Misery loves company.”

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Finding: Blogs are the least influential source of marketing insight and management practices.

Translation:
“I really don’t care what you have to say, Shevlin.

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On a more serious note, check out the executive summary for Jon Miller’s contributed expert commentary on Marketing 2.0. He also has a lot of insightful things to say on his blog (he’s got a physics degree from Harvard, so you know he’s a smart guy).

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9 thoughts on “Translating CMO-Speak

  1. Ron,

    Once again, you’ve posted a piece that put a nice smirky grin of agreement on my face. It helps make Friday go faster.

    BTW, your Twittered heads-up is what pointed me here.

    Thanks.

  2. Just so I’m clear – 50% are hired to fix broken marketing organizations yet peers are the most trusted sources – is it just me or am I missing something here? Why am I hearing my mother saying “well if your friends jumped off the bridge, would you do it too?”.

  3. @Mike: Too funny. I guess smart marketing execs know to turn to those of their peers who aren’t currently screwing up their marketing departments.

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