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The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader: How to Succeed by Building Customer and Company Value by Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise

Thomas Barta speaks, writes, and consults to leaders on achieving organizational growth.

Thomas has consulted and marketed for over 20 years, in 14 industries, in 45 countries. His clients include many of the world’s most prominent companies, including over two dozen from the Fortune 500.

After a marketing career at Kimberly-Clark, Thomas joined McKinsey to help CEOs deliver profitable growth in a bigger way. As a dean of the firm’s highest-rated internal program, he trained over one thousand McKinsey leaders on driving change without authority.

Thomas’ leadership research includes one of the world’s largest studies, with over 68,000 executive assessments – on what makes for an impactful marketing executive.

And, interesting fact – he lives in Cologne Germany!

The Host’s Perspective:

OK, so if you work in marketing or work with someone who works in marketing, it’s probably no surprise that marketing has changed a lot in the last few years. In fact, not too long ago Adobe did a study that found that seventy-six percent of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past two years than the past 50.

So what are successful marketers doing these days? That’s what the authors wanted to find out when they fielded the largest ever research study of its kind.

The study included over 1,000 surveys of senior marketers, 67,000 surveys of marketers’ bosses, coworkers and direct reports, and over 100 interviews with CMOs and CEOs. What they found is that most marketers are pretty good at doing marketing but not good at leading marketing. And that gap makes all the difference – but it can be bridged.

Basically, marketers would better serve their customers, their companies and themselves by developing their broader business and leadership skills to complement their technical marketing skills. The book then spells out how to do that.

Some of the most interesting insights that the book reveals include: Marketers aren’t happy with their limited influence and career success – and their bosses agree, leadership skills matter more than technical marketing skills, successful marketers align customer needs with company needs.

Marketers are masters of fulfilling customer needs, but often fail to understand what matters most to the CEO. The most effective and successful ones help the company maximize what the authors call the “Value Creation Zone” – the crucial overlap between what the customer wants and what the company wants. Marketing leadership skills differ from generic leadership skills. And almost any marketer can become an effective marketing leader.

If you want to learn how to better mobilize your boss, your colleagues, your team and yourself and become a much happier, more successful marketer, this is your book.

Listen to the Interview: 

Show Notes

The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader: How to Succeed by Building Customer and Company Value by Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath

Thomas Barta Website (

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