You’ve got a brilliant marketing idea, but how do you get the CEO sign off on it? Your CEO Mentor co-founder Martin Moore shares his insights into the vital relationship between a CMO and CEO and just how to get that next campaign over the line.
The relationship between CEOs and marketing can be summed up by ‘sausage-sizzlegate’. For Martin Moore, it’s a perfect analogy of the relationship between a CEO and a CMO.
“There’s gotta be that balance between the sausage and the sizzle,” Martin says. “Marketing always leads with the sizzle, but the CEO wants to know there’s a sausage there somewhere, that it’s not just the smoke that’s coming off last week’s barbecue.”
For Martin, the sausage is a profound understanding of the customer, the business, and operations of the board. Martin has forged a successful executive career over 30 years, working for leading companies across multiple industries. With years of experience as the CEO of CS Energy in Queensland, Martin has held senior executive roles in Sales & Marketing.
Since leaving the C-Suite world, Martin has co-founded (with his daughter Emma Green) leadership consulting business Your CEO Mentor, which encompasses their ‘No Bullsh!t Leadership’ podcast, flagship leadership development program ‘Leadership Beyond the Theory’, organisational performance consulting and keynote speaking engagement offerings.
You have to talk the talk, Martin explains, to get your campaign over the line. “I think it’s really important that the CMO speaks the language of the CEO. If it’s a major investment a CEO is likely to have to take that to a board,” Martin says.
“The board doesn’t really care what bells and whistles are on something like that, they care about return on investment, hurdle rates, risk, the sort of stuff that boards are paid to care about.”
Martin’s advice is for CMOs to foster a strong relationship with their CEO. “I think operationally we have to be very, very close. You need to understand whether or not your operations and distributions can actually do what you want them to do,” Martin says.
Establishing good relationships of a senior nature in a large organisation is down to trust, transparency and being open. According to Martin it’s about the greater good.
“If you can’t get the trust and respect of your peers, you will never go anywhere. By being very clearly on the side of the business, you’re not self seeking. And you need to get these people to buy into that greater cause.”
Equally important is to have a profound understanding of the customer. Martin says a CMO must be able to speak with authority about what the customer does and who the customer is. This is where having the right numbers becomes vital.
“You’ve got to have gone through and done the market intelligence to say, here’s the trends for where this product set is going. Here’s where I think we can capture value in the market, because strategy is really just two simple questions,” Martin says. “Question number one, is the market worth winning in? Question number two, can we win?”
“It comes back to that balance between sausage and sizzle,” Martin explains. “You’ve got to be able to show a pathway to success, because you’re not going to have any demonstrated success early on that’s going to sell the idea to a CEO or a board.”
“Being able to say, I think the size of the prize is ‘x’ is really, really important,” Martin said.
Tune in to this week’s episode as Mark chats with Martin about the importance of transparency, talking the talk to get your ideas across the board, and making sure you get the numbers right.
The CMO Show production team
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Host: Mark Jones
Guest: Martin Moore
Producer: Charlotte Goodwin
Mark Jones: In marketing we’re focused on strategy and we’re focused on campaign development and we have a lot of conversations on this show and elsewhere about how do you measure the impact of your work, but it struck me there’s one part of this puzzle that we call marketing that we don’t talk about a lot and that’s the interaction between a CMO and a CEO. We’re focused on our customers which is of course right and we’re focused on being customer centric, but how CEO centric are you? And specifically how do you get the CEO to sign off on your crazy marketing idea? How do you turn this big picture thinking and this big campaign strategy that you’ve been working so hard on, how do you turn all of that into something that will get a big yes from your CEO?
Mark Jones: Thanks for joining us on the CMO show, my name is Mark Jones and it’s great to have you with us again for this episode, I think all my buttons are being pressed as it relates to leadership and strategic thinking, ’cause today we’re gonna talk about how you sell to the CEO or how do you get the CEO to sign off on your crazy marketing idea. And I put the challenge to our team, how are we gonna solve this big dilemma. And we found this person, his name is Martin Moore. He’s the co-founder of an organisation his founded with his daughter Emma Green and the organisation they’ve started is called Your CEO Mentor. And so, Marty has taken all his lifetime of experience in working in very senior environments, also as a CEO he’s been in marketing and other different roles within an organisation.
Mark Jones: And part of his story actually is how do you take an organisation from small or humble beginnings through to multi million dollar run rates. And so, given his got this CEO mentor mindset and he’s all about educating people, helping us grow as leaders. We thought he was the perfect per son to come and address this big question. So, the opportunity here is as marketers how do we learn from the person on the other side of the table
Mark Jones: Thanks for joining us on the CMO show, my name is Mark Jones and our guest today is Martin Moore and hiding in the studio, but not saying anything is his daughter Emma Green. And together they co-founded Your CEO Mentor, a Queensland based consulting business focused on leadership. Thank you so much for joining us.
Martin Moore: Great to be here Mark.
Mark Jones: Now, the reason why we have you in the show is an interesting one, because I actually pose this question to our team here. I said now, “There’s this great idea, how do you get a CEO to sign off on your crazy marketing idea?” And I’ve spent quite a bit of time with CMOs in the last couple of weeks doing some round tables. And this is one of the biggest things that we find. So, you’ve gone through strategy, you’ve gone through ideation processes. And you’ve gone through budgeting and whatever else you’ve gone through and ostensibly a whole lot of work and it comes down to the CEO pitch in many cases. So, that’s the big picture starting point for the conversation, but before we get to that, let’s find out a little bit about you and how did this whole thing come about?
Martin Moore: The whole thing about me being a CEO? Let me go back a way Mark. So, I’m actually a law school drop out, University of Sydney 1980 intake and I found the law awfully dull, so, I went on to software development. I start of my career as an IT guy. So, if you got any IT people out there then there is hope for you, don’t worry.
Mark Jones: Life after IT.
Martin Moore: Absolutely. Fortunately because I had a very generic skill, I was able to go across industries very easily. So, I managed to get across banking and finance and aviation and Telco and a bunch of different industries and you get to get a feel for what goes on in large organisations generally. And so, I’m more from there in the last 15 years I worked in senior executive roles in large businesses in mining, in insurance, in transport logistics and finally as chief executive of a major energy business in Queensland. So, I’ve had a lot of experience in different industries and I’ve managed to cross functions as well. So, I’ve been a CIO, I’ve been a CFO, I’ve been head of strategy and of course a head of sales and marketing.
Mark Jones: So, ostensibly all of that’s to say you’ve got this good sense about how you take a business from wherever it is right now to some sort of accelerated version if that. I know that at CS Energy you took it from about 18 million to 441 according to some earning stats I was shown. That’s a pretty big lift. So, you’ve seen all the different shades of a business, right?
Martin Moore: Yeah, absolutely.
Mark Jones: And from small to large.
Martin Moore: Absolutely. And some are harder to turn than others, but I do enjoy the turn around feel, because it’s taking something that is under performing and then find a way to get more out of the business and the people, which is really what I love doing and that’s why I’m in this leadership venture now is because I think that poor leadership has a lot of sins to answer for in business.
Mark Jones: How well, generally speaking of marketers, understood their role on a senior leadership team?
Martin Moore: And that is a really good question, because different organisations have a different level of respect and authority in the CMO role. And so, you go into some organisations and it’s just marcomms, it’s promotions, it’s sponsorship, it’s advertising, it’s glossy brochures. In the proper CMO role, where marketing is taken seriously by the organisation, it’s actually the bridge between the organisation strategy and the customer. And without the customer and without the customer’s money, no businesses exist, no companies exist, no CEOs exist. And so, the companies that actually get that and use that to their advantage do pretty well.
Mark Jones: So, how did you rate you CMOs or people you work with? What was the things that you looked for?
Martin Moore: I look for a really good business head. They’ve gotta understand the business they’re in, because if you’re gonna try and understand the customer and develop products that actually meet the customer need, not just the need as it is today, but how it’s evolving and certainly back in the days of Henry Ford and the Model T, he said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have asked me for a faster horse.” And so, it’s that knowing when to anticipate the market and put an innovation ahead of time and when to actually meet the customer need that’s there.
Mark Jones: How well did you find that the CMOs that you worked with understood the customer?
Martin Moore: In some cases extraordinary well, I’d say profoundly, but that was the exception more than the rule and certainly where I had my senior marketing role was in Horizon, which is a rail freight business, an ASX 30 listed company, but it was a be to be marketing scenario and there were a very small number of customers. There were only about 20 odd customers in the coal haulage space and only six or seven of these really mattered, but they were mega deals. They were multi year, multi billion dollar deals. And so, we took it really, really seriously. We had teams of people working on marketing intelligence, working on analytics, working on even war games so that we could see how our competitors would react to certain things. And we took the marketing side of that extraordinarily seriously when we were developing a value proposition for those customers.
Mark Jones: Yeah, I mean, with that few you don’t have to worry about scale in the traditional sense. It’s like you can almost go and see them all in a week if you had your mind about you.
Martin Moore: That’s right, it brings a different level of complexity though, because you’re talking about the relationships that you’re having through multiple layers of a large organisation like a BHP or an Anglo American or a Rio Tinto. And so, having those relationships stitched up right across the different layers from the top of the organisation down to decision makers who are in the buying centre is actually quite tricky.
Mark Jones: So, what was your role as CEO then in that context, ’cause your ostensibly empowering the CMO to own the customer if that’s a term that you’re happy with, and did you see yourself as almost like the coach or what was the mindset you brought to that?
Martin Moore: Yeah, at CS Energy where I was chief executive, it’s very much a B2B marketing once again. The brand isn’t well known, because most of our trading is in the wholesale market, the national electricity market. And we’re also the wholesale would sell capacity to companies like Origin and AGL and Energy Australia and so forth. So, we weren’t a well known brand and our marketing was really around understanding how we were gonna get better risk mitigation and a better product out there at the right price for our customers. So, that takes credit risk and market risk and a whole bunch of things into account, but one of the things when you’re being a company that owns and operates coal fire power stations, that game is gonna be up in a little while, whether it’s a year or 20 years, that game’s declining. So, where to find ways to replace that-
Mark Jones: Despite what you read in the press.
Martin Moore: Despite what you … look, we’re going green, it’s an inevitability. It’s just a matter of timing and transition. But having to replace several billion dollars of revenue through other means other than generating energy out of coal fire power stations is actually a challenge. And so, there’s no point in waking up in 10 years time and going gee, look, we’ve run out of runway. So, a lot of the investment we put into marketing was really around how do we develop new revenue streams, how do we improve our market capability and our trading capability to make that happen.
Mark Jones: We’re talking B2B mostly and enterprise. So, large-scale type of engagements. And so, of course, your contracts run for long periods of time. So, presumably, marketing has to have much from more of a strategic flavour in a long-term thinking and all that kind of stuff. You’re not talking about Black Friday sales and other consumer stuff. So, how do you get pacing and timing and those longer-term plans in those environments? What’s the key to success?
Martin Moore: There’s a tempo and a process that’s unique to any of these sales cycles. And this is a long burn slow cycle. So, it’s sort of like 12 months to two years for one of these tender processes to go through. And there’s a lot that has to be done on terms of information gathering and planning and risk analysis and pricing and so forth. So, all of that takes place within a context. And the customer really dictates the timing of the deal. And so, there were some deals done very, very quickly.
Mark Jones: What are you seeing in terms of the dynamic between CEOs and CMOs? What’s the sense about how these relationships are unfolding?
Martin Moore: I think generally the CMO doesn’t seem to hold the power based in an organisation the way that they should. Given the criticality of what the role should provide, I just simply don’t think most organisations take it seriously enough. And some of the functions you’d typically liked to be associated with a centralised marketing function in terms of market intelligence and customer insight and all that sort of stuff is fragmented across different parts of the business. So, operations and manufacturing might have a much bigger say in how you develop a product than they potentially should, because they’re not as close to the customer. So, if you’re seriously taking the fact that the CMO is the bridge between the customer and the organisational strategy, you’re likely to get that right. If you don’t take that seriously as I don’t think many organisations do, then you’ll find it’s sub optimised.
Mark Jones: Right, okay, and again there’s not a lot of templates for that sort of development. So, what does it take for a CMO who then is empowered in that type of environment to come to you with a big picture plan? So, I think the crazy idea might be, this is a campaign that we can see rolling out, or maybe a framework is a better way of proposing it for one to two years. How should CMOs pitch that to you? What are you looking for?
Martin Moore: Right, so, what I’m looking for as a CEO is that I need to be confident that the CMO understands what they’re talking about. When I say understands what they’re talking about, understands the capability of the organisation in terms of ability to deliver what their crazy marketing idea might be. A really profound understanding of the customer so they can actually speak with authority about what the customer does and who the customer is. And not to have to look at an operational person in this side who’s saying, yeah, no, but the CMO doesn’t get out there, they don’t understand. We’re talking to customers everyday. So, the CMO has to have that sort of gravitas so that I can rely on that.
Martin Moore: I think no CEO likes surprises. The Hayne Royal Commission is providing plenty at the moment and none of those CEOs are having much fun by looks of things. So, no CEOs like surprises and I think one of the big things is, if you’ve got an idea, start socialising the concept early. So, if you’ve got the germ of the idea, I’d be in the CEOs are you just saying, “Hey, listen, I’ve got this idea that I think might fly. Are you happy if I go away and just do a little bit of work to just get that broad brush strokes picture, size of the prize, likely investment, those sorts of things and come back to you when I know a little bit more?” And that could save me a hell of a lot of time, because the CEO might go that’s ridiculous, I don’t want you working on that, put your resources into something different. Or they’ll say, “Hey, look I’m happy to entertain it, don’t spend too much on it, but come back to me, let me know how it’s looking.” And then you actually develop it over time and build it up.
Martin Moore: I also think it’s really important that the CMO speaks the language of the CEO. At some point in time if it’s a major investment a CEO is likely to have to take that to a board. And when you take it to a board, the board doesn’t really care what bells and whistles are on something like that, they care about return on investment, hurdle rates, risk, the sort of stuff that boards are paid to care about. And so, if you as a CMO can talk in those terms, it’s obviously gonna make it much more likely that CEOs is gonna support and say, “Okay, well, you understand hurdle rates, you understand what I’m gonna have to go through to sell this. I am confident you’re gonna put a business case up that will either fly or not fly. And then I know what I’m doing.”
Mark Jones: So, does that translate into leading with your business case, ’cause I imagine … well, I know a lot of CMOs that would lead with the big shiny, the concept, the story, et cetera. So, do you lead with the numbers?
Martin Moore: I think there’s gotta be that balance between the sausage and the sizzle, there has to be, right? So, marketing always leads with the sizzle, but the CEO wants to know there’s a sausage there somewhere, that it’s not just the smoke that’s coming off last week’s barbecue.
Mark Jones: I’m never gonna be able to look at my barbecue the same again, by the way.
Martin Moore: I didn’t mean that Mark, I’m sorry.
Mark Jones: No, that’s awesome, there’s always something.
Martin Moore: There is.
Mark Jones: But if you go back to that CEO dynamic you spoke about, because if they’re anything like me, you’ve got like a 100 crazy ideas all the time. So, you really gotta choose your right idea and the timing, ’cause you don’t wanna be getting a fresh idea every month.
Martin Moore: No, no, absolutely. It’s a lot different in major business than it is in a smaller, more agile business. But socialising concepts with people are so important when you’re in a large organisation, particularly peers. So, it’s no good use selling the CEO on an idea if operation just goes, “Yeah, I’m not doing that, I’m not resourced for it, I can’t do it.” You’ve got to actually be on front of the game. So, influencing and socialising things with your peers. Influencing with the CEO so they’re the ones on board. Now, this is really hard, right, not many people can do this and it’s a very difficult job of leadership, but if a CMO wants to be super effective, that’s where they have to try and head.
Mark Jones: I’ve gotta say there’s quite a few studies out there on the psychology side talking about your EQ or your emotional intelligence versus your IQ. So you can socialise it as you say and you’re figuring it out as you go along, and that’s the experimental side of it, but where do you get that form?
Martin Moore: 30 years ago I had next to none and I think I’ve spent a lot of years working on it
Mark Jones: So, what did you do?
Martin Moore: Range of things you can do. Well, the first thing is to pay attention to the people side of things. And most leaders that I run into pay attention to the business side of things, to the technical side, very intelligent, very experienced, very capable, but just don’t pay attention to the people side. And so, they expect the people to just come along and automatically do the things that they’re supposed to do, which is absolutely not the case. And so, understanding as I did early on how difficult leadership is, because you can’t make someone do something they don’t wanna do and I’m predisposed to do at their own accord. And then how to actually get the best out of each individual by stretching them and challenging them is really critical.
Martin Moore: And you learn a lot of EQ on the way through, because you have to have difficult conversations where you’re watching body language, looking in peoples eyes. You’re seeing how they react and it’s only the first probably 500 of those that are hard.
But a lot of people have one or two hard conversations and it knocks them around. And they have a bad experience and they step back out of it and they go, “Shit, I’m gonna avoid that.” And then the next time they have one is only when they absolutely can’t avoid it again. And so, they just never do it. And like anything else, it’s like going to the gym. You build muscle by lifting weights and putting that resistance there. And so, with EQ it’s the same thing. You’ve gotta put yourself in situations that are uncomfortable and be in a situation where you have to read the person that you’re with and you have to understand and you have to engage with them to see what’s going on and to understand what they’re saying. And you do enough of that you start to get pretty good at it.
Mark Jones: I wonder what it takes to shift if you’re a CMO and you’re charged with responsibilities and budget and you feel like a marketing team and your agencies and all these kind of stuff, whether you see yourself as the head of that function in a tactical execution sense or whether you see yourself as a leader in the C-suite? And I know that this is … if you’re like the never-ending story I think in this dynamic, but what does it take to go to truly being recognised as a leader in that C-suite? Because I think it seems to me from what you’re saying in connecting the EQ bit is that if you’re like that’s the critical function is being able to bridge the creative side of your role and the tactical side and the strategic function. Kinda getting that right is actually … is it more of a leadership play than it is anything else?
Martin Moore: I think so, I think that’s a really good description of it Mark. The thing that I used to say to my executives at CS Energy is, “You have two roles. There’s your role as the executive general manager responsible for your domain area, whether it’s operations or finance or whatever. And you’re also an executive of this business. So, even if you’re sitting in an office as the head of risk and compliance, you need to understand what’s going on in our operational sites around safety, because you’re an executive of the business. So, you’ve gotta be present, you’ve gotta be visible and you’ve gotta know what you’re talking about, because you’ve got that role as well.” And so, I think really taking that role as an executive of the business seriously is something that a lot of people don’t do, because they’re so focused on their own function.
Mark Jones: Now, does this mean that you’ve gotta have … I don’t know, you gotta go and do extra tertiary education? Or what else will it take, because a lot of those skills won’t be intuitively understood, particularly if you’ve come through a creative track.
Martin Moore: They’re not and I’ve been fighting off the temptation to say, this is why I’ve set up this business with Emma, Your CEO Mentor, is to do exactly this, because it’s not out there. And even though the internet is absolutely bursting with leadership advice from all sorts of places, even though the advice is sensible, it’s strangely intangible.
Martin Moore: A management leadership education is quite critical. And look I’ve done that, I’ve got an MBA from the QUT graduate school of business. I’ve been to Harvard business school for their advanced management programme for several months of executive education. So, I’ve done some pretty good education and I think that for me is the icing on the cake. It’s not the cake. The cake is your experience. And that education will put the icing on the cake and it’ll give you perspective and give you new ways of thinking and it’ll give you some new skills. But when I came back from Harvard business school I had people saying to me, “So, been gone for a while, what did you learn at Harvard?” And I go, “Shit, I don’t know, I mean some stuff, but I don’t know specifically what I learned and I couldn’t rattle anything off.”
Martin Moore: But I spent months immersed with a bunch of executives from around the globe who are pretty heavy hitters. I was such a lightweight when I went there, it wasn’t funny. But just mixing with those people and changing the way I thought about things and changing the way I approach problems was really what I got out of it. So, it really shifted my thinking about how I did things, but still, that’s the icing on the cake. Without my experience, no one hires me because I went to Harvard.
Mark Jones: Yeah, I mean that’s always the case of that you learn how to think.
Martin Moore: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Mark Jones: In those environments that’s, the big take away.
Martin Moore: It’s all about being in the trenches day to day. And if you look at the learning models these days, they say 70, 20, 10 is the right learning models. 70% experience on the job, 20% sort of mentoring and coaching from those around you and 10% formal education. So, it’s the 70% that really counts.
Mark Jones: Now, let’s look at this dilemma from another angle, it’s sales. ’cause ostensibly you’re being sold to. So, as a CEO, the CEO comes and there’s a budget component, there’s a creative component and there’s the customer piece and they gotta sell you on it. So, what are the rules that you would apply to filtering through the sell?
Martin Moore: Yeah, that’s a cracking question and look I’ve gotta say that most organisations are geared against new ideas that require new investments.
Martin Moore: If you haven’t read this and your readers haven’t picked it up, I definitely say you must read a very old book called The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen. And when Clay wrote this book he was well ahead of his time, but he talks about why organisations are designed to kill off those ideas, because when you’ve got a product for example that is high market share, high margin, doing really well and it’s the cash cow for your business, if you get a chance to put a dollar towards that or a crazy high risk idea with no return profile that you can pin your head on. What are you gonna take to the board?
Martin Moore: And so, it makes it really hard to get any of these new projects up unless you have a really specific innovation framework. In R&D process it’s part of the organisational culture. And I really love the examples that you find around the place of companies that have blown up or parts of companies that have blown up, because they simply haven’t paid attention to the customer. And I wonder where the voice of the CMO was in this. So, one of my favourite examples Johnson and Johnson used to have an absolute monopoly on the cardiac stent business. And you know what cardiac stents are?
Mark Jones: Yeah.
Martin Moore: The little wire tubes they put inside arteries to support them when they’ve got atherosclerosis. And in the 90s, 1997 J and J had a 95% market share in the cardiac stent business. They were just out on their own. October of that year a new company called Guidant released a competitive product and within 45 days they captured 70% of that market in 45 days.
Mark Jones: How I that even possible?
Martin Moore: Exactly, exactly. And then just over a year later, J and J’s market share had dropped to 8%. From 95% a year earlier. Why did that happen? Because they simply didn’t listen to the customer. And the customers who are cardiothoracic surgeons who are saying, these stents are awesome, but we want different lengths, different flexibilities because they make our jobs much easier. And J and J has gone, “We’re happy, 95% market share, high margins, we’re the only game in town.” All it needed was for another company to come along and steal that and they did. And the results were catastrophic for that part of J and J’s business. Now, obviously, large organisations are quite resilient. But you look at those stories and you just think time and again how many bodies do we need to see on the side of the road, these failed things where we didn’t understand the customer or we didn’t respond to customer needs.
Mark Jones: What other rules are there? So, what does it take to put together for example alliances to support your idea? You talked about selling to the CEO, but what else? Who else do you need to bring alongside?
Martin Moore: So, all right, let’s just take a for example. So, CMO and I think operationally we have to be very, very close. So, you need to understand whether or not your operations and distributions can actually do what you want them to do. Setting up those relationships and any relationship of a senior nature in a large organisation has to be driven by a couple of things. The first thing is you have to be able to get trust quickly. So, if you can’t get the trust and respect of your peers, you will never go anywhere. And you’ve gotta find a way to do that business being open and transparent, by being very clearly on the side of the business, the greater good. You’re not self seeking. And you need to get these people to buy into that greater cause.
Martin Moore: And it’s something that can be done relatively easily if you approach it the right way. But if you go in and say, “I need this for my area because I’m the CMO”, and operations are gonna say, “Well, I’ve got enough of my own problems. Go and play over in your sand pit buddy.” And that’s the way it works. So, it’s really garnering that supports your influence. And that’s the toughest thing of leadership is to influence.
Mark Jones: And what other things come to mind in terms of the guiding principles for getting your creative pitch right?
Martin Moore: Yeah, I think I’d just come back to that balance between sausage and sizzle. You’ve gotta be able to show a pathway to success, because you’re not gonna have any demonstrated success early on that’s gonna sell the idea to a CEO or a board. And, so, it’s that pathway to success and being able to paint that picture. So, knowing what you upside is, is really, really important. Being able to say, I think the size of the prize is X. And you’ve gotta have your numbers right. You gotta have gone through and done the market intelligence to say, here’s the trends for where this product set is going. Here’s where I think we can capture value in the market, because strategy is really just two simple questions. Question number one, is the market worth winning in? Question number two, can we win? That’s it. It’s competitive strategy is all about that.
Martin Moore: So, that first question has to be answered like, what’s that size of the prize? What is the market? Do we think it’s actually worth going in there? Are the margins there? And how long will they be there for before they get competed away?
Mark Jones: Another angle. CMOs tend to last 18 months to two years. How do you get anything done at this level when you’ve got that kind of backdrop? And how does that frame the way that you engage with CMOs.
Martin Moore: Yeah, you’re talking about the CMOs like the one at J and J’s cardiac stent business?
Mark Jones: Probably isn’t there anymore.
Mark Jones: We don’t see CMOs sticking around beyond two years typically speaking.
Martin Moore: Short term-ism is one of the biggest problems in today’s business world, because even though the exercise should be to create long term shareholder value, everyone has remunerated and incentivised towards creating short term profits. So, you look at listed companies, they’re out there with market forecast, continuous disclosure. It’s hard to stay on top of that stuff. And so, very much driven towards when are my next set of results coming out? What are the results gonna look like? How do I actually pull those levers? And so, all the incentives are there.
Martin Moore: The drive short term thinking. And when the drive short term thinking, when the CMO comes to a CEO and says, hey listen, I’ve got this great idea and we’ll see return in 2024. The CEO just laughs and says, “Okay, nice, talk to the next CEO about that, because I’ll be gone in two year’s time.” And because the CEO lifespan is around five years in Australia and the US at the moment I think is around the same. It’s awfully difficult to get any long term planning done and to make any long term investments.
Mark Jones: Has there been any sort of levers that you’ve seen that could help affect that?
Martin Moore: It’s gonna be really interesting to see the fallout from the Hayne Royal Commission in Australia and the new rigs and so forth are gonna come into the bank and finance sector. I think that’s probably the most blatant example of short term ism driven by financial rewards. And so, I’m looking at that really, really keenly to see what sorts of changes they put in, because they have to fix the cultures of those organisations and the way their leaders and their people behave and perform. So, that’s gonna be a really good test case for that. I don’t know that more bureaucracy and more rules and more restrictions are gonna do it. I think shareholders have to demand different things. And shareholders aren’t demanding different things. They’re demanding performance right now, they want their dividends and even on a growth stock. They wanna see growth plans that are coming through for the next few years that are credible. And so, they require that sort of investment. So, it’s a really tough one. I don’t know how that’s gonna pan out, I really don’t. I’d hope that we could get back to a more long term thinking though.
Mark Jones: Exactly right. And then before we break up, another interesting question I thought to ask you along these lines is that there can be a real temptation from a creative standpoint to come to the CEO with your big creative idea. In the back of your mind you’re thinking, I might win an award for this. You know what I’m saying. And there can be a disconnect between industry awards, which is a big deal, right? It drives much of the marketing industries, this awards programme mindset versus the CEO shareholder outcome that we’ve been talking about. Do you ever come across any of this? Has this ever been much on your radar?
Martin Moore: I’ve not seen it to tell you the truth. I mean and I’m not a fan or believer in awards generally. I think a lot of people in companies can win awards and not actually be that good in what they’re doing. And I’ve seen that time and time again. So, I don’t pay much attention to it, but I know there are industries and different organisations that do pay a lot of attention to it. The closest I come to it is when I see the little gold sticky labels on the bottles of red I buy. And I tend to stay away from the ones that got lots of those. It looks like you’re trying to hard, right.
Mark Jones: That’s correct. There’s like seven gold stars. I always go for the clean. Absolutely clean…
Martin Moore: Absolutely. Seven gold labels and priced at $9.50. I go, maybe not so much. So, that’s a tough one, but I’m not really in that space.
Mark Jones: Yeah, no, I understand that. Look, do you have any parting thoughts from a leadership perspective with I guess your best advice for marketers from becoming better leaders and engaging with senior executives? What would you say is gonna set them up for success?
Martin Moore: Yeah, I think a couple of things. The first thing is just to start to pay attention. I think we pay attention to all sorts of things that aren’t gonna take us towards being better leaders. Pay attention to your habits. Pay attention to the way you treat other people and try and put yourself in other people’s shoes. One of the best things I ever learned in terms of improving my negotiation skills had nothing to do with the technical elements of negotiation. It had to do with my temperament around being able to sit on one side of the table and try and imagine as well as I could what was driving the other person. What it was they really wanted. And then being able to ask questions that force them to answer, because if a human asks you a question, you want to answer it. Try not answering it, it’s hard. And asking enough questions that actually draws out from them, what they really want.
Martin Moore: And that’s the thing that most improved my negotiation. It’s the same with anything. If you can actually out yourself in other people’s shoes, start to understand how they feel and what their drivers are, you’ll find you start to think a lot differently and you get a more holistic view of any problem.
Mark Jones: So, get better at listening and asking better questions.
Martin Moore: Absolutely, totally.
Mark Jones: That’s fantastic. If people wanna get in touch with you, how would they do that?
Martin Moore: Probably the best way is through our website, www.YourCEOMentor.com. And there’s a bunch of information there about what we do, our podcast, our leadership programme and my speaking engagements, it’s all there.
Mark Jones: Yeah, well, all the very best with that.
Martin Moore: Thank you Mark.
Mark Jones: It’s great to see somebody with a side hustle who became the hustle. And it sounds like you’re really following your passions, which is of course from a bigger perspective an exciting thing to do.
Martin Moore: Absolutely, I’m doing what I love now, so, that’s great.
Mark Jones: Yeah, so, well done to yourself and Emma for getting this thing going and thank you for being our guest today on the CMO show and sharing your insights. I know there’s a lot of really meaty good stuff in there that the community can use to get better at what we do.
Martin Moore: Yeah, thanks a lot Mark, it’s been a pleasure
Mark Jones: Martin Moore, there you go, a great guest and I hope you got a lot out of that interview. I really enjoyed the conversation. And I think one thing that stuck with me, I hadn’t really reflected on it, but we talk about socialising ideas and so, he is suggesting that in marketing we actually start testing these ideas with your senior executives and building those alliances and your early thoughts around whether or not this creative proposal or this direction that you’re going in might actually work. Calling it a socialising strategy, I don’t know we always wanna come up with names for this kind of stuff, but ostensibly socialising your idea I think is a really great way to move forward if you’re not already doing that.
Mark Jones: And I think that emotional intelligence that we are forced to really focus on is a key part of that. So, how well you’re listening to what people are saying and how well are you including them in on your strategy development and your creative development. Is this something that you think you can build a consensus around in order to be able to get all the outcomes that you’re looking for together as a broader organisation. So, look, lots to work on in there. I’m sure plenty of food for thought. So, once again, thank you very much for being with us on the CMO Show. And I look forward to having you with us next time and do subscribe, do tell your friends. Do get our newsletter. if you go to Filtered Media’s website and look up the CMO Show. We’d love to have you making sure that you get every single episode.
Mark Jones: So, that’s it for me this time. Look forward to having you with us on the next episode. But look, it’s really great that we get to share this conversation with you. So, until then, see you later.
Mark Jones: The CMO Show is a podcast produced by Filtered Media and a big shoutout to our incredible team Charlotte Goodwin, Tom Henderson, Candice Witton and Daniel Marr.