For this groundbreaking leadership book, former McKinsey partner and senior marketer Thomas Barta teamed up with London Business School marketing professor Patrick Barwise to answer the question: what makes an effective and successful marketing leader?

Praise for the 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader

“Everything you need to know to be a superior marketing leader!”

– Marshall Goldsmith, The World’s Thinkers50 #1 Leadership Thinker

“A must-read for every present and future CMO who cares about making a difference.”

– Seth Godin, author of All Marketers Are Liars

“The essential leadership playbook for the CMO of the future.”

– Jim Stengel, former Global Marketing Officer, Procter & Gamble

“A masterful dissection of what it really takes to lead marketing.”

– Syl Saller, Global CMO, Diageo

“A persuasive perspective on the opportunities open to marketers to lead for change.” 

– Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

Praise for the Marketing Book Podcast

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The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader

For this groundbreaking leadership book, former McKinsey partner and senior marketer Thomas Barta teamed up with London Business School marketing professor Patrick Barwise to answer the question: what makes an effective and successful marketing leader?

Thomas and Patrick conducted the largest ever global study of marketing leadership, analyzing detailed original data on over 1,200 marketing leaders and more than 67,000 existing 360-degree assessments of both marketing and non-marketing business leaders. The research revealed 12 essential traits that can make or break marketers’ business impact and career success.

The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader is the first leadership book for marketers based on anything like this level of research evidence. It tells you how to:

MOBILIZE YOUR BOSS: Make an impact at the highest level and align marketing with the company’s priorities.

MOBILIZE YOUR COLLEAGUES: Inspire and support your non-marketing colleagues to meet customers’ needs better than the competition.

MOBILIZE YOUR TEAM: Build and hone a winning marketing team. Become a leader of leaders.

MOBILIZE YOURSELF: Focus on goals that will benefit your customers, company, and long-term career.

In The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, you will read firsthand accounts of marketing successes from around the world—and gain psychological insights that will surprise you into the leaders who drove the key decisions. You will learn how to persuade your colleagues, motivate your team, and strengthen your leadership skills.

Warning: this isn’t a marketing book. It’s a leadership book for marketers, using the latest research on what works—and what does not work—in the digital age of marketing. By zeroing in on the value creation zone (“V-Zone”)—the all-important overlap between your company’s and customers’ needs—you’ll be able to help your business to win in the market and achieve your career goals.

Remember: doing marketing isn’t the same as leading marketing. With The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, you can lead the way with a new vision that is powerful, transformative, and ultimately life-changing.

More Praise

“An essential read for any marketing professional looking to take the next step in his or her career.” – Dominic Barton, global managing director, McKinsey & Company

“Research-based, but brought to life by human beings.” – Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO, WPP

“Stuffed full of sound analysis, crucial career advice, and fascinating case studies—this is an effortless must-read for the ambitious marketer.” – Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT

“I only wish I had been able to read it a good few years ago!” – Amanda Mackenzie, global CMO, Aviva

“This might just become the bible for marketing leaders.” – Sherilyn Shackell, founder & CEO of The Marketing Academy

“Here is a must-read book for marketers as leaders.” – Richard Hytner, founder, beta baboon, former DY Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide

“This book gets under the skin of what makes a great marketing leader.” – Peter Markey, CMO, Post Office

“A truly insightful guide to how good marketing executives can become outstanding leaders.” – Joan Kaloustian, managing director corporate marketing, MUFG Union Bank

Thomas Barta

Thomas Barta is one of the world’s premier customer leadership experts.​ A former McKinsey partner, he studies the unique intersection of customer focus and leadership.

Thomas has consulted and marketed for more than 20 years, in 14 industries, in 45 countries. His clients include many of the world’s most prominent organizations, including over two dozen from the Fortune 500.

Thomas speaks to executives worldwide about how to break the silos and generate a true customer focus—in a global and digital world. His keynote speeches inspire people at countless company conferences, including events at Adobe, Google, IBM, and SAP.

patrick-barwise-book


Patrick Barwise

Patrick Barwise is Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at London Business School, former chairman of Which? (Europe’s largest consumer organization), a prize-winning author, and an expert on customer focus, innovation, and marketing.

His book, Simply Better: Winning and Keeping Customers by Delivering What Matters Most, coauthored with Seán Meehan (IMD, Lausanne), has been translated into seven languages, and won the American Marketing Association’s annual Berry-AMA Book Prize. Order it here from AMAZON.COM.

Barwise and Meehan’s second book, Beyond the Familiar: Long-Term Growth through Customer Focus and Innovation, was published in 2011. Order it here from AMAZON.COM.

TAKE THE MARKETING LEADERSHIP QUIZ!

How well do you know marketing leadership? Take the quiz!
Read the questions below. You’ll find the answers by clicking on the questions. How many did you get right?

1 What's the biggest success factor for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)?
What’s the biggest success factor for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)?

A: Own leadership skills & functional skills

B: External factors (e.g., budgets, goals, company culture, role clarity, management support)

A: 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

2 How many CMOs believe they have great careers?

How many CMOs believe they have great careers?

A: 72%  

B: 53%

C: 44%

B: 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

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

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

A: Rising

B: Stagnating

C: Shrinking

A: 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)
4 For CMO career success, what matters most?

For CMO career success, what matters most?

A: Customer & product knowledge 

B: Role modeling 

C: Big issue focus

D: Inspiring others

E: Business/personal vision

B and E: 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
5 For CMO business impact, what matters most?
For CMO business impact, what matters most? 

A: Customer & product knowledge 

B: Role modeling

#C: Team performance management

D: Return orientation

E: Marketing skills (self and team)

E: 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 toenergize 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

6 Rank in order of importance: How do CMOs see themselves?

Rank in order of importance: How do CMOs see themselves?

A: Extroverted 

B: Open 

C: Quick thinker 

D: Critical/quarrelsome 

E: Collaborative

The right order is

B: Open to new experiences (90% of senior marketers fully agree

C: Quick thinker (81%

E: Good at collaborating in teams (78%

A: Extroverted, enthusiastic (59%

D: 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
7 The financial performance of companies with a CMO is ...

The financial performance of companies with a CMO – compared to companies without – is: 

A: Higher 

B: Similar 

C: Lower

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

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

A: 55%

B: 36%

C: 21%

B: 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

9 In the CEO's view, which departments are "most involved in defining strategy"?

In the CEO’s view, which departments are “most involved in defining strategy”?

A: Sales

B: General management

C: Marketing

D: Finance

E: Operations 

C. Marketers are most involved in defining strategy, according to their bosses. The ranking is as follows:

C: Marketing (64% of their bosses agree)

B: General management (59%)

D: Finance (56%)

E: Operations (49%)

A: Sales (47%)

 
Source: Barta, T., Barwise, P., The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, 2016, N = 67,278 executive profiles. 
10 What defines a CMO most--as seen his/her team?

What defines a CMO most–as seen his/her team?

A: Inspires to overcome limitations

B: Encourages business opportunities

C: Tolerates mistakes

D: Enthusiasm

E: Constructive feedback

D: 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:

B Actively encourages new business opportunities (67.5%)

C Tolerates mistakes made by employees who are taking the initiative (58.4%)

A Inspires people to look beyond existing limitations (58.1%)

E Gives ongoing constructive feedback to people (49.4%)
 
Source: Barta, T., Barwise, P., The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, 2016, N = 67,278 executive profiles
11 BONUS QUESTION: When the CEO fails to understand customer focus, what should the CMOs do?

BONUS QUESTION: When the CEO fails to understand customer focus, what should the CMOs do?

A: Display strong leadership skills and make the customer case–no matter what

B: Talk to a headhunter

B: CMOs talk to a headhunter and 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

TAKE THE CUSTOMER LEADERSHIP PROFILE-TEST!

Test Your Customer Leadership Strengths
Get your personal profile based on the world’s largest ever research and what makes an impactful customer leader. 

START HERE >> For the following statement pairs, please choose the one that best describes you:

Please choose


Shares an inspiring vision to help colleagues overcome limitations
Can tolerate mistakes made by team members who take the initiative

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Is happy to delegate tasks to team members
Has agreed with key stakeholders about what matters to the organization

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Prioritizes activities that create maximum returns
Knows how his or her behavior inspires others

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Impresses others with expertise about the organization’s markets (or professional fields)
Walks the hallways to mobilize colleagues

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Develops his or her and the team’s skills to fit the organization’s priorities
Considers what matters for customers/external stakeholders AND for the organization

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Delivers the highest possible returns for the organization
Knows how to mobilize colleagues across the organization

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Encourages team members to take on larger responsibilities
Knows his or her dreams, fears, strengths, and weaknesses well

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Visibly acts to help the organization achieve its top priorities
Knows how his or her mindset and behavior inspire others

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Branches outside his or her department to get colleagues to change
Makes sure the team’s rewards reflect the organization’s priorities

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Develops his or her and the team’s skills to fit the organization’s needs
Knows what to strive for in his or her life, his or her career, and his or her profession

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Ensures his or her and the team’s skills match the organization’s needs
Takes visible action to help the organization achieve its goals

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Aligns with key stakeholders on the organization’s top priorities
Is acting (rather than talking) to achieve the organization’s top priorities

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Knows his or her markets/professional fields (products, services, stakeholders, etc.)
Aligns his or her team’s goals with the organization’s top priorities

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Demonstrates clear aspirations for his or her life, his or her career, and the market
Mobilizes colleagues by capturing their hearts and minds

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Focuses resources on activities with the highest returns
Ensures his or her team’s goals reflect the organization’s priorities

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Mobilizes colleagues with an inspiring vision
Works with the best external partners (independent of location)

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Focuses on generating the highest returns for the organization
Has strong subject matter knowledge (markets, products, services, etc.)

Correct!

Wrong!

Please choose


Has set a clear vision for his or her life, his or her career, and the market
Focuses on the organization’s top priorities

Correct!

Wrong!

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