Industry reacts to view that marketers lack credibility

Top industry bodies have reacted to a report that suggests 73% of CEOs feel marketing professionals lack credibility and views from Merlin’s chief executive that young marketing executives are “too siloed” to be successful in the boardroom.


Sherilyn Shackell, founder and CEO of the Marketing Hall of Legends, says it is a “myth” that the modern marketer is driven by winning awards for campaigns and that marketers are acutely aware of their direct contribution to the profit and loss of companies.

She says: “CMOs such as Amanda Mackenzie, Andy Fennell and Sally Cowdry who have a seat in the board room are ensuring that their entire teams are driven by commercial objectives.”

Shackell adds that leaders such as Martin Glenn, Gavin Patterson and Allan Leighton “completely disprove” the assumption that marketers are too siloed to become CEOs.

“I believe that exceptional business leaders have the ability to influence and engage, the courage to take risks and a healthy regard for both insight and data,” she says.

The Marketing Hall of Legends runs the Marketing Academy, the coaching and mentoring scheme that develops the talent of future potential marketing leaders. The Academy is sponsored by brands including ITV, Microsoft, O2, Kraft Foods and Marketing Week.

Roderick Wilkes, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), says that marketers need to have a voice in the boardroom if organisations are ever going to effectively align their operations.

A Deloitte and CIM report found last year that 49% of companies are not using a customer or marketing measure to inform board level decision making.

Wilkes adds: “Whilst marketers are measuring, if they aren’t doing this effectively or presenting it to the board in a meaningful way, then this becomes a commercial sticking point.

“As we mark the centenary of [the CIM] this year, it is saddening that this seems to still be the case.”

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