A number of chief marketing officers (CMOs) have flourished in their new capacity as ?Growth Champions,? a term we use to describe marketing?s engagement in leading companies to expand their reach in the consumer or business-to-business marketplace.

The importance of that new growth is highlighted repeatedly in research conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton in conjunction with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the leading U.S. trade association for senior marketers. In particular, the ongoing study demonstrates that growth in revenue and profitability is strongest among those companies that elevate marketing?s role to the strategic level. In the last several months, our research has expanded to include interviews with 15 CMOs from some of the top marketing organizations worldwide, captured in the recently published book CMO Thought Leaders: the Rise of the Srategic Marketer (strategy+business Books, 2007). In the course of those conversations, there emerged six themes confirming our analysis that the best CMOs:

- Put the consumer at the heart of marketing
- Make marketing accountable
- Embrace the challenges of new media
- Recognize the new organizational imperative
- Live a new agency paradigm
- Remain adaptable

Although some of these imperatives may sound all too familiar, there is a world of difference between knowing and doing.

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