If you think you’re aligned, think again

August 21, 2023 | Marc Gagnier
2 min
Maïeutyk - Manque d'alignement

We have all heard about the shockingly short tenure of the average Chief Marketing Officer in North America… 40 months* or so.

However, I was equally shaken by this fact:

Only 34% of Chief Executive Officers actually trust their CMO!

A UK study pegs it at 20%**.


The lack of alignment


I have witnessed some of this tension first-hand in businesses of all sizes. This made me curious about the phenomenon, so I read everything I could on the subject. There are a myriad of reasons why the distrust is there in the first place but chief among them is lack of alignment and poor communication between the CEO and CMO . As far as I’m concerned, these two irritants are one and the same because one is born of the other.

It strikes me as odd that these two leaders would have little alignment, but this seems to be the hard reality. Now, if these two are not aligned on marketing, I would imagine the rest of the team are even further apart.

This is important because let’s fact it, everyone has an opinion on marketing.

So, while the goal of better alignment between CEO and CMO is extremely valid, why not take the opportunity to make it even more encompassing?

Brands are not seen or experienced by customers in silos, and they are certainly not recognized that way by the search engines of digital giants.

Your brand has one identity and one identity only.

All the more reason to get leaders from across all your organiZations to get on board with your branding (the storyline and its promises) and your marketing (the amplifiers you use to communicate the promises).

In our experience, best results are obtained when brand and marketing strategies include the input from key personnel from all parts of the company: sales, customer service, HR, finance, etc.

In the same way, we rely on quantitative data to drive marketing decisions, we should not underestimate the power of internal qualitative discussions to sharpen the promises the brand is going to make.
When you discuss the brand promises with a wider group of co-workers, we can guarantee two things:

1- One, that some solid insights or solutions will come from a person you were not expecting.

2- Two, everyone will feel more aligned and ready to execute, not just the CEO and CMO.


Cocreation for a better alignment


After hundreds of sessions, Maïeutyk facilitators have noticed that the quickest and surest way to get to company-wide alignment is to start with open group discussions. Work sessions where participants can speak freely without judgment about what is possible and what is not. It’s human nature, when you have been heard, you are more apt to listen and follow the decisions that are made.

No matter how you look at it, you can’t lose by using this method. These sessions will either reinforce your thinking or force you to adjust it. Either way, it’s a win for everyone.

*Boathouse Group 2021
**Fournaise Group 2017

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