Yes, this was the subject line of the direct inbox message that I received in LinkedIn last week when I questioned a Group Manager why my marketing discussion topic was stopped.

The moderator said, “I could see the Discussion was becoming less than what we want – respectful interaction. So I stopped it.”



Hmmm that’s interesting. Let’s step back a minute.

The topic I started was indeed a provocative one:

“Is it the death of the CMO?”

The premise being, that of course it’s not the literal death of the Chief Marketing Officer, but it is indeed time to reconsider the CMO’s role and KPIs in a social business world.

My thought starters were that marketers need to focus more on listening to customer feedback in order to innovate, be more agile and nimble to create marketing content that resonates, and analyse Big Data for actionable and insightful trends rather than drown in it.

To throw some stats out, only 29% of marketers believe their content is effective, 77% of CEOs believe brand equity is not linked to firm equity, and consumers use on average 10.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision (according to Google ZMOT, Fornaise Group and CMI / ADMA).

So it seems to me that it’s time to change.

I further posed that CMOs could be called Chief Innovation Officers, and focus on consumer centric innovation and maybe leave the price/value equation to the CFOs.


Well it sparked a polarising discussion.

For the record, I’m always happy to receive feedback and listen to opposing views. And for those that know me, they know I’m a soulful character with a highly ethical approach to life (and business). There was certainly no intent on my behalf to be disrespectful.

And it seemed a pity that one of the ‘old school’ marketers felt that it wasn’t a “useful discussion.”

Majority Rules

Luckily, the majority agreed that it was time to reinvent the marketing function and create real value within organisations.

I’d be interested in your view?

However, the main point I want to make with this post is that we don’t live in a dictatorship. We shouldn’t simply stop discussion when it’s going a little against you. We should embrace change and be open minded.

Maybe the Group Operator could have asked an open question to me (and other members) in the discussion group to clarify rather than assume. Better still, the Group Operator could carry on a professional conversation rather than a classic ‘toys out of the pram’ move.


So be careful if you manage ‘owned’ media channels. It is indeed a fine line between managing respectful conversation and embracing all opinions.

However, as a wise man once said,

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”