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Management or Marketers: What Drives Business?
By: Emory Brown
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Some people say that marketing is 80% of a corporation’s business plan. Others will say that CEOs like Jack Welch and CMOs like Nike's Global CMO Trevor Edward are the secret sauce that makes marketing work. Some school of thought would say that it takes smart advertisers to make the dream work. I was wondering, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” I think only marketers would know. 

We can look at the gambit of marketing and make a great argument about the power of advertising campaigns to change business, from the "What's up?" campaign for Budweiser that sent sales through the roof to the "Natural Beauty" campaign that changed the face of beauty standards forever. But who made the decision to run with the product strategy? Who made the decision to pick the one diamond-in-the-rough campaign? In the case of Old Spice, it was the brand manager that chose the campaign featuring Isaiah Mustafa, "The Man Your Man Can Smell Like," another blockbuster for sales growth. 

On the other hand, we can look at CEOs/Product Innovation gurus like Mark Zuckerberg, who created Facebook and doesn't advertise his brand in the traditional sense. Larry Page, CEO of Google, co-created a search engine that revolutionized marketing (as stated in Harvard Business Review piece "Google Made Advertising Smart”).

Are CEOs and CMOs living off the brilliance of ad agencies, or are we all arguing over their collective genius? I think great marketing programs come from highly sophisticated teams of marketers from various disciplines. It's not about the group title. It's not about the org chart. It's about working together to build brilliant strategies and tactics that move sales in a positive direction.
Case in point: How many times have you heard the story of a group of senior managers talking about a product, and then they say, "Call a few of the interns in. We want to hear what they think." I think the answer to our proverbial question is that smart management knows you have to be a smart marketer and work with smart marketers as well.


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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