In the military, there is a term used for the perceptual understanding of the leaders complete objective. It is called Commanders Intent. The function of Commanders Intent is to "fill in the missing pieces" between the starting point and the boss' desired objective. For example, if your boss tells you to "generate new business," he or she expects you to apply self-initiative and complete the task without bothering him or her with the step-by-step details. He or she have entrusted you to make the right choices to obtain the objective successfully. According to the CMO Councils Marketing Outlook for 2009 (sponsored by Ad-ology Research), here are the top management objectives for the 650 Global Marketers surveyed:
- Grow or Retain Market Share (46%)
- Lower Costs and Improve Go-to-Market Efficiencies (44%)
- Improve Customer Insight & Retention (33%)
These three objectives combined represent the Commanders Intent. Some are more important than others, but ALL are needed to achieve the Commanders Intent. The CMO is charged with carrying out these orders. The CMO also interprets these marching orders. But, that doesn't mean their interpretation is always perfectly on target. Say, for example, the CMO sees Order #2 and interprets that to mean "Cut Ad Spend." How will cutting their presence in the marketplace "Grow or Retain their Market Share?" My advice: Discover ALL of the Commanders Intent and help your clients interpret and achieve their goals, without sacrificing one to obtain another.