Suzanne Lowe's blog, The Expertise Marketplace, is a must read for serious professional service firm marketers. She had two very interesting posts related to the role of the CMO. Great stuff.
I am a firm believer that if a CMO actually steps out and leads rather than waits for directions from the partners, then he or she can earn a seat at the strategy-setting table. I'm a member of my firm's board of directors (the only non-fee earner on the board) and one of its senior people. It took time, but I got there because I 1) stepped out and led the charge, continuously seeking input and involvement from all members of the firm and communicating our efforts and ROI; 2) made it a point to get involved with our analysts and really understand what they do so I could identify future trends and opportunities for us; and 3) woke up every day thinking about what we could do to make the phone ring with the right prospects.
If I did it, you can do it too! Along that line, take a minute to read these two posts and add Suzanne's blog to your aggregator.
Money quote from "A CEO's CMO":
Certainly, professional firms increasingly need great CMOs, not just good ones. Yet too many CMOs are still viewed as master communicators, and either aren't required to become more effective executive-suite strategic partners -- or don't insist on it.
Money quote from "We Didn't See It Coming":
Isn't helping our firms to better navigate their future marketplaces exactly what professional service marketers should be doing? If we can't find a way to do this, aren't we all still in the "we didn't see it coming" boat? I don't think professional service marketers need to become expert futurists, but I do think we need to find resources that will help us bring practical, more fact-based scenario planning into our firms' corporate and marketing strategy efforts. Yes, it takes time, and it will require professional service firm leaders to recast their previous notions of strategic planning.