It’s all Greek to marketing

When French soldiers discovered the simple stone slab that would change the world on 19 July 1799, they weren’t on an archaeological dig; they were quickly shoring up their Rosetta, Egypt defenses for a battle with Ottoman Empire troops.

During this frantic construction project, these troops had discovered a large stone fragment covered in three types of writing, including ancient Greek. Of course, this was no ordinary stone. The slab was the Rosetta Stone, and the letters and symbols carefully chiseled into its dark face would shed light on the world of ancient Egypt. But first, scholars would have to crack its code.

Twenty-three years later, French scholar and polymath Jean-François Champollion announced he had deciphered this stone. His 27 September 1822 presentation to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in Paris would radically change the study of ancient history. For the first time in centuries, Egyptian hieroglyphs could be understood, leading to a new wave of research and investment into this lost language and the distant past it recorded.

It’s all Greek to marketing.

Your chief financial officer’s top responsibilities are:
1.  Controller: tracking cash flow.
2.  Treasury: managing liquidity, debt, and assets.
3.  Forecasting: financial analysis and planning to advise on areas of strategic investment.

CFOs speak the language of business: accounting, finance, economics. They have no stele that allows them to translate marketing activities and contributions into business impact and value. There is no Jean-François waiting to decipher cryptic marketing KPIs. Fair or not, it’s the responsibility of today’s marketing leaders to build their own Bletchley Park. For their sake, I hope it doesn’t take centuries to crack this code.

As a CMO, when you plan your next expedition to the C-Suite or Boardroom, call a philologist first: