When and How Does Board-Level Marketing Experience Impact Firm Performance?
Marketing Science Institute, Report Number 15-109.
Posted: 6 Jun 2017
Date Written: 2015
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.
Keywords: Marketers on the Board, Board of Directors, Top Management Team, Chief Marketing Officer
JEL Classification: M12, M30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation