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Marketing in the Boardroom – Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Board

Jun 08 2017

I recently came across a new book written by Ruth Saunders, a colleague PMG has worked with on research projects, that addresses an issue that has plagued marketers for decades. How can marketers win over the Boardroom?  Based on my experience,   marketing is often seen as the Rodney Dangerfield of the organization; as they get “no respect”.  As an executive once advised me early in my career, “To be a player you must either make it, sell it, or count the money”……and in his mind marketing did none of these. 

So, how can marketing step out of the shadows and into the spotlight and gain the deserved “respect” of the board members? Ruth recently provided me insight as to how her new book helps marketers unlock the secrets of gaining traction with the board.  

“Marketing in the Boardroom – Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Board”

It’s tougher than ever before for companies to grow and survive. The lower barriers to entry have made it easier for new, more risk-taking competitors to launch innovative products and services that better meet customer needs.

If a company invests at the minimum level, the business is likely to decline as competitors outpace them. Instead, if a company wants to grow, the Board must invest for growth.  They need to innovate, while simultaneously protecting their core business – with marketing’s ability to create customer-led growth clearly pivotal to delivering this. 

To achieve this growth, marketers need to demonstrate to the Board why their projects are worth investing in, over and above other projects.

Yet it’s no secret that marketing punches below its weight in the boardroom. CEOs and other board members perceive that marketers lack commercial credibility when compared with their peers, resulting in much needed breakthrough ideas not getting approved.

Marketing in the Boardroom helps marketers to be more commercially credible and thereby more successful in the Boardroom.

Ruth Saunders explains the importance of marketing in the Boardroom, and why marketers often struggle to engage the Board. She then shows how to develop compelling marketing strategies that the Board will buy into, offering a mix of practical solutions and varied case studies drawn from her years of industry experience. In the final section, she helps marketers better understand the Board mindset and language, demonstrating how to win over the Board members’ hearts, minds and confidence.

Marketing in the Boardroom is an important book for any aspiring marketers who are moving up the career ladder, particularly those who are writing or giving presentations to the Board. It is also an important book for their organizations, particularly those that struggle to give marketing the support it needs to create customer-led strategies that will drive business growth.

The Author

Ruth Saunders uses her twenty-five years of experience as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Co, marketer at P&G, advertising planner at Saatchi & Saatchi and market researcher at Mars Inc to help clients develop, get Board buy-in to and implement innovative marketing strategies that deliver tangible business growth.

Her work includes developing commercially actionable customer segmentations, streamlining brand portfolios and architectures, creating innovative brands and new brand positionings for growth, conducting brand migrations, optimizing the customer and brand experience and increasing marketing spend effectiveness.

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