When And How Does Board-Level Marketing Experience Impact Firm Performance?

CMOs control more of the factors that drive firm value than any other C level function – the brand, the customer experience, and customer data.  Their focus on top-line growth performance, ability to understand consumer preferences, and acumen in generating market insights suggest that marketers would be valuable members of boards of directors. Yet marketing’s presence at the top of firms is nominal. Only 2.6% of board members have marketing experience, suggesting that directors don’t see a connection between marketing experience and the ability to address firm-level marketing challenges. To date, there is no research investigating marketing experience at the board level; previous research on marketing’s role in firm-level strategy development has primarily focused on CMOs. In this report, Kimberly Whitler, Ryan Krause, and Donald Lehmann investigate when and how marketing experience on the board contributes to overall firm performance by driving firm revenue growth. They develop a conceptual model to explain how marketing impacts the firm and the conditions under which marketing experience on the board of directors impacts firm financial performance. They test their model using 64,086 board member biographies and publicly available data from S&P 1500 firms. Their findings indicate that marketing experience at the board level is considerably more valuable than the number of marketers on boards today would suggest

Listen to Professor Kimberly Whitler Discuss How Board-Level Marketing Experience Impacts Firm Performance

You can learn more by reading the complete research analysis by professor Whitler and her associates Ryan Krause and Donald Lehmann by downloading their seminal paper  When and How Does Board-Level Marketing Experience Impact Firm Performance? published by the Marketing Science Institute.

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