Growth Insights for CEOs

CEOs Need 3-D Skills to Stop the Pain

Posted by The Chief Outsider

When you are suffering from knee pain you go to an orthopedic surgeon. Why? You need an expert to diagnose the cause of the knee pain.  The surgeon collects objective data, including a physical exam, observation, and a series of questions about your pain.  The doctor then sends you for X-rays and MRIs to validate the insights from the physical exam. Only then does the skilled surgeon make the diagnosis. Your orthopedic expert then develops a strategy to fix the problem. Medication, physical therapy, surgery, and immobilization are all solutions in his armamentarium. Your surgeon then makes certain the therapy is delivered and mentors you to be compliant.

CEOs Should Not Diagnose Growth Challenges

When your business is suffering from slow growth in revenue and profitability do you bring in an expert to help diagnose the problem, develop a solution strategy and deliver the fix to improve growth in revenue and profitability? Or do you self diagnose?


Diagnosis requires insightful objectivity.  Experienced professional marketing executives help speed up the diagnosis that will lead to a clear understanding of the issues affecting lack of growth. They become your growth doctor to diagnose the problem, develop a solution strategy and deliver the fix.

Collecting objective insights starts by asking the right questions. 

  • Why do customers like your products or services?
  • What purpose does your company serve?
  • What is your vision and what is preventing you from achieving it?
  • Why don’t more customers understand the value you deliver?
  • Why do potential customers buy from your competition?
  • Why are you successful in some areas of your business and what is preventing your company from being more successful in all areas of your business? 
  • What are you doing now that is working and what are you doing now that is not producing the result you anticipated?  How do you measure this?

With these objective insights an accurate diagnose of what is going on with your business is achievable.   With accurate diagnosis the experienced marketing executive will develop the right strategy to drive growth in revenue and profitability. 


Developing the strategies to grow revenue and profitability requires knowledge of purpose driven marketing.  What is the purpose of your company and the products or services it provides?  Does this purpose resonate throughout the organization? Are there objective insights that demonstrate that your company’s purpose delivers value?  Defining your purpose, your internal strengths and weaknesses, and the external opportunities and threats are essential to creating a purpose driven marketing strategy.


Delivering on the strategy requires focused experienced executive level management.  The focus will drive the implementation.  The executive level experience will assure that resources are allocated efficiently with metrics to determine the impact.

CEOs will see an orthopedic surgeon when they have a knee problem.  They don’t self diagnose.  Their expectation is the experienced surgeon will diagnose the cause of the pain, develop a strategy to treat the pain and the deliver the treatment that will make the pain go away.  Many CEOs especially in the SMG space perform self-diagnosis and the strategies that evolve often fall short.

Unfortunately many CEOs are challenged with daily and hourly operations issues or lack the executive marketing experience and are hard pressed to be objective in their diagnosis.  Incorrect diagnosis creates the inability to develop strategies that are aligned with the purpose resulting in under delivering what is needed to achieve the desired growth in revenue and profitability. 

Key Learning

  1. Diagnosis requires gathering and validation of objective insights that affect growth 
  2. Developing marketing strategies requires clear vision of the company’s purpose, vision and what it will take to overcome the roadblocks to greater revenue growth
  3. Delivering the results requires marketing executives with the experience to focus and implement tactics that are aligned with the purpose driven marketing strategy

- by Marshall Perez, Partner, CMO/BDO   570.689.7451 or

Topics: CEO Strategies, Marketing Strategy, CEO Marketing Vision