Twitter just answered the question – “Anyone Can Lead Marketing, Right?” You would think that is their perception given their latest move. The man, who orchestrated the Twitter IPO and current Twitter CFO, Anthony Noto, now has Twitter’s marketing department under his control. “He took over marketing after months of fruitless searching for a chief marketing officer,” according to The Verge. Now in all fairness to Mr. Noto, he was a brand manager at Kraft Foods from 1995 – 1998 as indicated by his LinkedIn profile. All other years of employment and experience have been in the financial management and investment domain.
Twitter was once a very strong company that literally changed the world. Think of the Arab Spring and other worldly events that one could say would have never happened without Twitter. And now Twitter has petered out to something that amounts to a ticker tape of both meaningful and meaningless headlines, inspirations, rants, showboating, etc.
Marketing drives the audience perception of a brand. Can that responsibility really be in the hands of a bean counter?
A good 18 months ago I wrote an article “What Does It Take to Deliver Superior Marketing?” It you read through that article, you will notice that I did attribute some “left-brain” characteristics to superior marketing. Today, marketing requires a strong analytical and number-minded person. It requires someone that pays much attention to detail and operational excellence. But it also requires someone `that is intuitive, creative, and thoughtful of their audience – a right-brain dominant person.
I have been a marketer for long enough to recognize that when times are tough for a company, marketing is usually the first organization to get whacked. Accord to Wall Street, Twitter is definitely heading in the wrong direction. But is it really going to change course with the direction of a CFO? Will a CFO have the creativity to capture brands’ attention and revert Twitter to a strong marketing platform while at the same time not disenchanting the audience of Twitter users? I find this highly unlikable.
Now granted. I have been one that has been critical of marketing leaders in the past. I have found a void of marketing leadership that truly understands and has experience in traditional core marketing methodologies that align to corporate KPIs (key performance indicators) and at the same time have kept up with modern technological and digital advancements that cater to target market usage and behaviors.
But come on Twitter, should you really be paying a CFO $70 million and leave marketing control to him? Have you really exhausted your search for a true marketing leader? Take a mere $1 million and spend it on a competent marketing leader. To you and other companies in a similar predicament, all I can say is, “Give me a call. Drop me an email. I’ll show you how to drive results. Let your CFO manage the street and I’ll manage your partners and audience.” Yes, I can drive successful results, and there definitely are a handful of others that can as well. Yes, you need someone to manage the books and investor relationships, but you also need a different person to manage your brand and the reputation at that brand held by various stakeholders.
Make It Happen!