by Mike Linton, CMO, Farmer’s Insurance and Cammie Dunaway, CMO, KidZania 

Of the 900 Fortune 1000 Board Seats, only 38 have CMO experience. That’s less than five percent! So what does it take to get Marketers in the Board Room and how can they successfully add value once they are there? Cammie Dunaway of KidZania and Mike Linton of Farmers Insurance give tips to Marketers on how to be successful in the Board Room:

Get Ready! Get Practiced! Get Networked!

    • Develop skills that a company can’t “just buy” and listen to feedback from you board while evaluating “How do boards hear things?”
    • Build relationships through your personal network.

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 Interviewing – More than a Marketer

    • You will be evaluated on the questions you ask. Don’t spend time focused on “the brand”. Instead, ask strategic questions from YOUR point of view in a way the board can hear you.
    • DO NOT be the “marketer” on the board. Be a strategic person who is good at marketing. Don’t force the room to translate your foreign marketing language. Everyone can hear in the language of financials.

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Add Value on the Board

  • The ways you add value in a Board Role is different than your role as a CMO. IT’S ABOUT GOVERNING VS. LEADING. Don’t think advertising strategy. Think: “How does the company win?”
  • Build relationships with the CEO and other members of the board. You are not directly driving results so strategic relationships are the key both to your success and its measurement.
  • Make your limited minutes count! Don’t waste time in board meetings and use your time to move the meeting forward or change the dialogue.  Listen! Don’t be tempted! Be strategic with your time!

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