During the PodStorm, were doing a live Facebook Question and Answer session, every Friday, 11:30 a.m. PST. We did our first one, we’re going to share it with you in two parts. We talk about CEOs who don’t get marketing, the relationship between CMOs and CEOs during times of crisis, and more about evangelizing the brand.
What do I do if my CEO doesn’t get it about marketing?
Christopher shares that very little happens without legendary marketing. He stresses the difference of working on something exponential versus something that is incremental. In marketing terms, the more exponential it is, the more explanation it requires. In that situation, that’s called legendary marketing or category design.
“If your CEO, doesn’t get it, QUIT. If your CEO doesn’t get it about marketing and isn’t willing to be a leader, isn’t willing to get out in front and be the company designing and dominating the category and if you cant get your CEO there pretty quickly, its time to get out and go.” – Christopher Lochhead
What relationship should a CMO and a CEO have, particularly during a recession?
Christopher says that CMO is like the Press Secretary for the President of the United States. He shares quite a few examples, being three times CMO himself who sat in that position during a crisis.
“Strategic communication frames the context for everything that is going on in a company. If the CEO and CMO aren’t working in lockstep, then framing that strategic context is not going to work very well.” – Christopher Lochhead
Tell me more about evangelizing the category
Most companies have overrotated on brand. The marketing world have oftentimes marketed their brands and not necessarily their categories. He points out that in times like this, companies do not just fight over market share, they fight over a minimizing wallet share.
“Look, I’m a 3x CMO, I think branding is important. However, categories are about customers. When we talk all the time about brands, it is equivalent to a dinner party and talking all about yourself, as opposed to talking about others. Categories, fundamentally are about problems, or opportunities, being experienced by others. That is point A. Point B: with categories, it is the way the human brain works. We first understand the category is, then we start thinking about brands. Hierarchy. Our brain works on, category, subcategory and then brand. For example, drink, whiskey, brand. In other words, if I’m not interested in the category, then I’m not going to be interested in the brand.” – Christopher Lochhead
To hear more about the Facebook live Q&A session (Part 1) with Christopher Lochhead, download and listen to this episode.
Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.
He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.
Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.
In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.
He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; was the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.