Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s advice in her autobiography – to reach out for opportunity instead of waiting for permission or recognition – might have been geared to women, but it applies equally to men, to management as well as new hires.

In particular, I see it as a path to empowerment for CMOs, who deserve to be sitting at the big table with all of the other corporate decision-makers but often find themselves assigned to the rear echelon instead.

And what is your ticket to the big table? Data – that treasure trove of marketing data you’re sitting on right now that gives you unique insights into your customer base and market nobody else in your organization can match.   That marketing data is what defines business today, because it’s what empowers, defines, analyzes and predicts customer behavior, especially in our digitally powered lifestyles.

Perhaps this is a role you had wanted to assume all along but hesitated to claim. Wait no longer. Take your data knowledge and “lean in” with it – offering it up to support your bid to go beyond traditional marketing boundaries and be a key part of the planning process, in product development, strategic planning, even public affairs and restructuring.

Don’t wait for someone to knight you as the company data guardian. Embrace the role and use it not just to support your own marketing activities but to bolster your position as a key player in the corporate hierarchy. It’s time to lean in!

If you ARE leaning in, I’d love to hear about it.  DMA always needs great examples of “real live data stewardship” and how responsible data-driven marketing benefits consumers and the economy.  We’d love to feature your work and success here on the DMA Advance blog or anonymously as an example we can bring to the Hill.  Just ping me with ideas or questions.


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