The marketing leadership quiz
MARKETING LEADERSHIP QUIZ

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW MARKETING LEADERSHIP?

Find out what contemporary research has discovered about marketers and their role as leaders.

QUESTION 1

What matters more for the success of Chief Marketing Officers (CMO)?

  • Leadership and functional skills
  • External factors (e.g., budgets, aligned goals, company culture, role clarity, or top management support)

ANSWER

The CMO’s leadership and functional skills matter more for success.

 

Marketers are more powerful than many think. A large study of 1,232 senior marketers from 74 countries has proven that leadership and functional skills explain over 57% of the explicable variation in a CMO’s career success and 77% of his or her market success. External factors, such as budgets, aligned goals, company culture, role clarity, and top management support, matter less. Marketers can overcome many (but not all) of these external factors by displaying strong leadership and functional skills.

Source: The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, Barta and Barwise, 2016, N = 1,238 senior marketers

QUESTION 2

How many marketers think they have great careers?

  • 72%
  • 53%
  • 44%

ANSWER

The answer is 44%.

Most senior marketers (71%) believe they create high market impact. But only 44% say they’ve found a formula to make their careers work.

Source: The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, Barta and Barwise, 2016, N = 1,238 senior marketers

QUESTION 3

The power of marketing departments in U.S. organizations is…

  • Rising
  • Stagnating
  • Shrinking

ANSWER

The power of marketing departments in U.S. organizations is rising.

In a study of 612 publicly traded U.S. firms published in the Journal of Marketing, Feng et al. proved that the power of marketing departments in U.S. firms has steadily increased over a period of 16 years.

Source: Feng, H., Morgan, A. M., Rego, L. L. “Marketing Department Power and Firm Performance,” Journal of Marketing, vol. 79, no. 5, (September 2015)

QUESTION 4

What matters most for the career success of top marketers?

  • Understanding the customers/products/markets
  • Energizing others as a role model
  • Focusing on big issues
  • Knowing how to inspire others
  • Possessing a vision for business and one’s own personal life
  • Achieving visible successes

ANSWER

Energizing others as a role model and possessing a vision for business and own life are equally important factors in the career success of senior marketers.

In a large global research study, these two attributes each accounted for 13% of the explicable variation in career success. Other factors also mattered: knowing how to inspire others (12%), creating visible successes (12%), and focusing on big issues (10%), understanding the customers/products/markets (9%)*.

*Six other attributes, not listed here, make up the remainder. Source: Barta, T., Barwise, P., The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, 2016, N = 1,238 senior marketers

QUESTION 5

What matters most for the business impact of senior marketers?

  • Knowledge of customers/products/markets
  • Ability to energize others as a role model
  • Focus on big (business) issues
  • Team performance management
  • Return orientation
  • Marketing skills (self and team)

ANSWER

Marketing skills (self and team) matter most for the business impact of senior marketers.

Functional marketing skills account for 20% of the explicable variation in market impact. To create market results, senior marketers must excel at their craft (“doing marketing”). Other leadership behaviors matter too: knowledge of customers/products/markets (18%), the ability to energize others as a role model (13%), return orientation (11%), focus on big (business) issues (10%), and team performance management (6%)*.

*Six other attributes, not listed here, make up the remainder. Source: Barta, T., Barwise, P., The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, 2016, N = 1,238 senior marketers

QUESTION 6

How do marketers describe themselves as leaders?

Rank the list in order of importance:

  • Extroverted, enthusiastic
  • Very focused
  • Open to new experiences
  • Quick thinker
  • Critical, quarrelsome
  • Good at collaborating in teams

ANSWER

The right order is…

  • Open to new experiences (90% of senior marketers fully agree)
  • Quick thinker (81%)
  • Good at collaborating in teams (78%)
  • Very focused (60 %)
  • Extroverted, enthusiastic (59%)
  • Critical, quarrelsome (8%).

This list is a selection from more than 50 attributes described in the research.

Source: Barta, T., Barwise, P., The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, 2016, N = 1,238 senior marketers

QUESTION 7

Compared to companies without CMOs, companies that have a CMO achieve…

  • A higher financial performance
  • The same financial performance
  • A lower financial performance

ANSWER

Firms with CMOs achieve a higher financial performance compared to firms without CMOs.

A 2015 study using data from 155 publicly traded U.S. firms over a 12-year period showed that the financial performance of companies with CMOs was, on average, 15% higher compared to firms without CMOs (measured by Tobin-q). Germann et al. also make a strong case for the positive financial impact of having a CMO.

Source: Germann, F., Ebbes, P., Grewal, R., “The Chief Marketing Officer Matters!” Journal of Marketing, vol. 79, no. 3, (May 2015)

QUESTION 8

How many senior marketers say, “Other people don’t understand marketing”?

  • 55%
  • 36%
  • 21%

ANSWER

The right answer is 36%.

(Note: The authors of this quiz believe this number is much too high. Marketers should think again, provide more explanation, and bring that number down.)

Source: Source: Barta, T., Barwise, P., The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, 2016, N = 1,238 senior marketers

QUESTION 9

Which leaders are most involved in defining strategy, according to CEOs and general managers?

Leaders from…

  • Sales
  • General management
  • Marketing
  • Human resources
  • Finance
  • Operations

ANSWER

Marketers are most involved in defining strategy, according to their bosses.

The ranking is as follows:

  • Marketing (64% of their bosses agree)
  • General management (59%)
  • Finance (56%)
  • Operations (49%)
  • Sales (47%)
  • Human resources (40%).

Source: Barta, T., Barwise, P., The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, 2016, N = 67,278 executive profiles

QUESTION 10

The most defining attribute of a marketing boss, according to marketing teams, is that he/she…

  • Inspires people to look beyond existing limitations
  • Actively encourages new business opportunities
  • Tolerates mistakes made by employees who are taking the initiative
  • Shows enthusiasm for projects
  • Spends time mentoring others in the organization
  • Gives ongoing constructive feedback

ANSWER

Shows enthusiasm for projects scored highest when marketing team members were asked about their bosses (73 % fully agree).

From a list of more than 100 attributes, here is how some of the other attributes scored:

  • Actively encourages new business opportunities (67.5%)
  • Tolerates mistakes made by employees who are taking the initiative (58.4%)
  • Inspires people to look beyond existing limitations (58.1%)
  • Gives ongoing constructive feedback to people (49.4%)
  • Spends time mentoring others in the organization (37.4%)

Source: Barta, T., Barwise, P., The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, 2016, N = 67,278 executive profiles

QUESTION 11

What should CMOs do when their bosses fail to understand customer focus?

  • Display strong leadership skills and make the case for customers
  • Find a new boss

ANSWER

CMOs should find a new boss.

In principle, external factors (e.g., top management support or budgets) are less important contributors to a CMO’s success. The CMO’s leadership ability and skills matter more. That said, top management support, among all external factors, has the biggest influence on CMO success, accounting for 41% of the explicable variation in marketers’ business impact and for 32% of career success. Poor top management support is the hardest factor to overcome.

Advice to marketers: If the CEO really doesn’t understand the practicalities of customer focus, you’re on a road to nowhere and the company is probably doomed. Get out while you can.

Source: Barta, T., Barwise, P., The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, 2016, N = 1,232

How many did you get right?

For more questions and answers, please read on.

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