In many companies, the marketing function has wandered far from the company's overall strategy. The result: lower margins and declining productivity, says Harvard's Professor Gail McGovern. She discusses what executives can do to repair the split and introduces a new diagnostic tool for measuring marketing performance used in HBS executive education programs. Key concepts include:

- In many companies a wall has grown between the marketing function and the C-suite. Reasons for this are varied, but may include CEO and board priorities taken up by other issues or too much delegation of responsibility to the chief marketing officer.

- When a firm's marketing activities are not supportive of its greater strategic goals, the result can be low growth and declining margins.

- The key challenge in aligning marketing activities with corporate strategy is to develop a set of metrics to be used by top executives and the board that measure the impact of marketing activities against the goals of the corporation.

Get the full story at HBS Working Knowledge