How CMOs Should Function in a Recession

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by: Scott Goodson

Wise words from Harvard Business Professor John Quelch on the Harvard Business Blog:

He reports some good news for CMOs. They are staying in their jobs longer. But two points stand out for me in his article.

The first underlines the need for greater creativity with less spending money. I personally think it’s a mixture of strategic and creative excellence BUT also how this is delivered. Smaller, more entrepreneurial agencies moving faster bring a greater competitive advantage because their work hits harder and faster. Here is what John wrote:

Stretching marketing dollars. Recession demands that marketers come up with creative ways of doing more with less. Dollars might be shifted from television to cheaper radio advertising if it’s important to maintain message frequency. Different versions of the same ad might be used in different countries rather than separate commercials being produced for each. An experienced CMO will know how to take a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer to the marketing budget.

And the second, spotlights the need for CMOs to experiment with digital during the recession:

Embracing digital. Rather than avoiding Internet advertising, now may be the time for many companies to experiment further and advocate more of their budgets to search advertising, banner advertising, or motivating user-generated content through a branded website. Only the CMO has the expertise in the C-suite to recommend how to proceed.


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