Marketing for CEOs Focuses on Leadership that Embraces the Future


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So your marketing team (or person) knows that you should go digital, but what do you, as the CEO, CIO, or CMO supposed to do? In "Marketing for CEOs: Death or Glory in the Digital Age", former Google COO and current CEO of AdParlor, shows leaders how they can proactively direct marketing of their business in the chaotic, technology-driven world of the future.

Marketing for CEOs Focuses on Leadership that Embraces the Future

Marketing for CEOs: Death or Glory in the Digital Age is a book directed toward marketing leadership. The message is simple: Adopt life in the new digital age or flop. There isn’t another option. This book, written by the former COO of Google in Europe, highlights the changes in mindset and strategy that C-suite executives and business owners need to embrace in order to take ownership of their marketing in the very near future.

What is Marketing for CEOs About?

Why is there pressure for marketers at every level of business to go digital? The answer, according to Marketing for CEOs, is the evolution of marketing. Today’s businesses exist in a world where consumers are more comfortable consuming content in a digital format. In order to survive, marketing leaders, especially at the very top of the business, need to change how they think about marketing to current and future customers. In particular, marketing leaders need to do two things well: target and adapt.

Targeting becomes critical to marketing leaders because of two important trends, both of them centered around data. The first trend: Big Data. Never in the history of the world have marketers and business owners had so much information about their customers. Businesses can now track the clicks, social media comments, search activity and purchases of  ther customers and leverage that data to make more efficient marketing decisions. The second trend, personalization, comes from a consumer’s need to filter out irrelevant information in a world full of messages.

Adapting becomes the second critical focus for marketers, according to Marketing for CEOs. Again two main themes emerge. The first theme is marketing return on investment (ROI). Marketers who are going digital, need to shift how they measure results. Instead of getting any customer, businesses need to focus on working with the right customers over an extended period of time. The second theme is finding the right staff.to handle your marketing. Marketing for CEOs helps readers identify characteristics of a leader that is comfortable in the chaotic world of the future.



Overall, Marketing for CEOs argues for a leadership that embraces the future rather than stubbornly holds onto the past.

Author Ben Legg is a former British military captain and engineer who helped lead the engineering effort behind the Siege of Sarajevo in the late 1990s. He began his marketing career with McKinsey and other companies, including Coca-Cola. In 2007, he became the COO of Google in Europe. He currently serves as the CEO of AdParlor, one of the first companies to work with the advertising platforms established by Facebook and later, Twitter.

What Was Best About Marketing for CEOs?

The best part of Marketing for CEOs is the focus on marketing leadership. Other books may focus on marketing staff and assume that marketing leadership will either naively buy into the “digital is cool” trend or remain stubborn stalwarts until it’s too late. Legg’s book provides a better approach. It outlines why marketing leaders like CMOs and CIOs need to get involved with digital (not because of trends, but because of ROI) and provides a hiring and strategy roadmap for starting the process.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

Considering the vast range of topics to potentially be discussed in a book on digital marketing, Legg’s book is relatively small. It doesn’t discuss typical “Marketing 101 for CEOs” stuff like starting a blog or social media account. The focus in Marketing for CEOs is on the leadership and strategy to get there. For businesses already focused on digital marketing, this book will help optimize their leadership. For businesses just starting out in digital marketing, it may focus too exclusively on leadership and not lower-level staff strategies.

Why Read Marketing for CEOs?

Marketing for CEOs is the kind of book marketing leaders should read when they are ready to make a full-scale commitment to digital marketing but need guidance creating their strategies. As the book details, CMOs should be doing more than congratulating an employee on a good Tweet or writing a blog. They should be proactively shaping the marketing journey of their business. This book shows them how to get started in this direction, especially for CEOs and any other leaders in charge of marketing at the top of the pyramid.

2 Comments ▼

Charles Franklin


Charles Franklin Charles Franklin is a Book Reviewer for Small Business Trends. He has a background as a professional reviewer, and is also a content provider and customer relations professional.

2 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    The best companies are driven by good leaders. It is about inspiring people to move towards a particular goal. It takes skill and experience to know that.

  2. CEOs also need to know marketing. Not only will they need it to sell more products, they also need to attract more talents in the company.

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