Editor's comment: A clear view of the top

Many marketers dream of landing the top job - the one where you call the shots and implement changes that are so powerful you can make a real difference to the bottom line and answer to no one else but the chief executive or shareholders.

This magazine champions these leading marketers. Off the top of my head, I can name at least 10 who have made a real difference to their brand, setting it apart from rivals with marketing excellence. Their strategies are so admired they become a valuable commodity on the recruitment market. In rare cases, their departure can affect share price. I can also name several who have made the wrong decisions and have had to live with the consequences, which is what makes the top role suitable only for risk-takers.

We rarely give much thought to the process of making the move to that top role. What could you find when you get there? Yes, you get to oversee that big team, but do you get the support that should come along with it? Who could you go to for this support? It's a tough decision. Pick your boss, and they may mark you down for being a ditherer. Confide in your team and there is a danger they will view you as a weak leader. Lean too much on your agency, and everyone believes your supplier is making the decisions on the future direction of your brand.

This escalation may not just be a promotion; you could have jumped to a new company to get that top role - a trajectory that comes with its own problems. You may discover that your style of marketing couldn't be further from what is in place. Do you inflict your style or adapt to the new brands? It can be a minefield, but we have done the legwork for you. Lonely at the Top, on page 28, is an in-depth look at what you are likely to encounter when you move up to the top marketing position.




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