Are you managing your manager?

Let’s talk about leadership. Our guest today comes from the world of brand management and is actively advocating for CMOs. She is a staunch believer in the importance of leadership in marketing and the importance of shaping new leaders from the classroom to the boardroom.

Kim Whitler is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Prior to teaching, Kim spent nearly 20 years in general management and leadership roles, including serving as a brand management executive at Procter and Gamble and CMO at David’s Bridal. Kim’s work focuses on understanding how c-level roles, characteristics, and decisions impact a firm’s marketing performance. She is a researcher with numerous academic articles featured in publications such as The Journal of Retailing, The Academy of Management Journal, and the Marketing Science Institute Series. She is also a contributor to Forbes and CMO.com and has authored over 100 articles.

Kim shares her thoughts on educating future leaders and creating effective relationships between business leaders in different roles. Stay tuned to hear about Kim’s transition from 2 decades in business to being a professor at the Darden School of Business and how she is advocating for CMOs.

In This Episode

  • The importance of financial planning
  • How to advocate for CMOs
  • Understanding roles in marketing
  • Educating CEOs
  • Women on boards

Quotes in This Episode

“People live the first half of their lives for status, money, material stuff, and then they hit this thing called a midlife crisis because they realize none of that matters. And all of a sudden they start thinking about what their life will mean… So I basically said my goal was to retire at 40, and at 40 I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do regardless of money or status because I thought it would make a difference.” —Kim Whitler

“If the CEO isn’t designing the role correctly… they are setting up the CMO to fail.” —Kim Whitler

“When I look at a football team they all look the same to me, they’re all football players. But yet people who understand football know that a quarterback is very different from a punt returner, from a receiver. These are different roles. And yet a lot of marketers don’t realize that there are very different roles, CEOs don’t realize it, and executive recruiters don’t realize it.” —Kim Whitler

“Very few marketers are on boards. Less than 3% of board members are marketers. So, a general question is: Should they be? Do marketers on boards matter? Do they help? Under what conditions do they help? And so, I’ve been spending the last eight years working on research to address this question.” —Kim Whitler

“The CMO is supposed to go change the growth trajectory of the firm, but they don’t have any influence on pricing, they don’t manage the product, they don’t manage the product pipeline, they aren’t influential on distribution, all they manage is promotion. So, part of what needs to happen is educating the CEO on what it takes to impact growth.” —Kim Whitler

“There’s a lot of pressure from society to be a certain way. You know? Students come out at 18 and they’ve had a heavy, heavy dose of serving others. That’s terrific. It’s good for our culture and America, but then they feel guilty doing something for themselves, they feel guilty wanting to have a position that pays more money. So, part of my thing is to be very true to yourself .” —Kim Whitler

Resources

Kim Whitler, CMO, Procter and Gamble, Brand Manager, David's Bridal, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, with Deirdre Breakenridge on Women WorldwideFollow Kim on Twitter and LinkedIn
Read Kim’s work at Forbes
Kim at UVA’s Darden School of Business