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Why you need a Chief Marketing Officer & how to hire a great CMO?

Who is a Chief Marketing Officer?

A Chief Marketing Officer or CMO is a senior-level executive who is responsible for the overall marketing strategy & activities of a company. This includes developing and implementing marketing strategies, conducting market research, managing advertising and promotions, and overseeing the sales force. The CMO is also responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with key partners and customers.

They develop and oversee campaigns, track market trends, and analyze data to determine the best way to reach target consumers.

CMOs also work closely with other departments, such as sales, product development, and advertising, to ensure that all marketing efforts are coordinated and aligned with the company’s overall business goals.

In short, a CMO is responsible for driving growth by increasing awareness and demand for a company’s products or services.

While this role can be filled by someone within the company, hiring an experienced CMO from outside can bring fresh perspectives and ideas that can help take the business to the next level.

As a side note, a CMO’s role also includes reviewing the company website and if it’s capturing & converting web traffic. Take a quick assessment to find out if your website has the right elements to attract users & customers.

Roles & Responsibilities of a Chief Marketing Officer

Reporting to the CEO, A CMO is the highest marketing position. A CMO works in an environment of ever-increasing collaboration where the roles of CEO, CTO, COO, and CMO are blurring.

In order to be successful, the CMO must have a deep understanding of the organization’s products and services, as well as the needs and wants of its target market. The CMO must also be able to effectively communicate the organization’s marketing message to both internal and external stakeholders. A CMO has the following roles & responsibilities:

  • Lead the marketing function on the strategy, planning, and execution of the marketing mix.
  • Recruit and lead a data-driven, fast-growing team of highly skilled marketers .
  • Lead, motivate, and develop an outcome-driven team. Create an environment that helps in attracting, retaining, and motivating a diverse group of top-quality marketing talent at all levels.
  • Define and own the overall end-to-end marketing strategy and budget and drive the execution to deliver business growth at scale.
  • Implement, execute and optimize all relevant performance marketing and analytics tools to continuously evaluate and enhance channel, campaign, and content performance.
  • Ideate and implement great and creative guerilla marketing/growth hacks.
  • Conduct market research and competitor analysis to define the target market and to constantly refine product value proposition.
  • Develop an authentic, well-targeted international brand and lead international expansion to capitalize on market opportunities across geographies.
  • Define a clear and inspiring content marketing strategy, in collaboration with the management team,  that builds trust and credibility to facilitate long-term customer acquisition.
  • Use a range of tactics to drive from awareness to conversion.
  • Serve as a thought leader and evangelist for the company. Represent the company in various events.
Should you quit your job to start your business?

How do you become a Chief Marketing Officer? What are the skills required?

A CMO is responsible for crafting and executing a brand’s marketing strategy. They work with other members of the C-suite to align the marketing strategy with the overall business goals of the company. CMOs also work closely with their team of marketing professionals to ensure that campaigns are on brand and generate a positive ROI.

In order to be successful in this role, CMOs must have strong strategic, analytical, and leadership skills. They must also be able to effectively communicate with other members of the C-suite as well as their team of marketing professionals. It is essential that CMOs have a strong understanding of all aspects of marketing. Here are the required skills:

  • Around 10 years of marketing experience preferably within the same industry
  • Additional certifications in marketing (nice to have)
  • Five years of management experience.
  • A bachelor’s degree and preferably a master’s degree in marketing or a related field, preferably an MBA
  • Good written, oral communication, presentation, and leadership skills
  • Full-stack marketing experience across building awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, revenue & referrals.
  • Familiar with different tools to help automate marketing functions, measure growth, and analyze results of various marketing campaigns.
  • Familiar with both offline & online marketing channels. Highly skilled in one or more channels.
  • Familiar with organic & paid marketing channels. Highly skilled in one or more channels.


Chief Marketing Officer Job description

The CMO position is a relatively new addition to most companies, and the job description can vary depending on the size and type of company. However, all CMOs share the common goal of driving sales and growth through effective marketing strategies.

  • Build, plan and implement the overall digital/branding marketing strategy and establish the company as a leading brand.
  • Plan, implement and oversee all marketing and advertising campaigns.
  • Acquire users/customers through various organic and paid channels.
  • Maintain excellent industry knowledge, bringing a deep understanding of both customers and competitors.
  • Listen- to the trends of the market and direct the market research efforts of the company
  • Build & train a highly efficient team of marketing professionals
  • Implement, execute and optimize all relevant performance marketing and analytics tools to continuously evaluate and enhance channel, campaign, and content performance.
  • Manage marketing budgets effectively and generate maximum ROIs
  • Create a solid network of strategic partnerships


CMO Salary

A chief marketing officer (CMO) is a corporate executive responsible for planning and executing marketing initiatives. The CMO position is typically one of the most senior roles in a company, and CMOs are often involved in setting strategy and direction for the entire organization. As such, CMOs are typically very well-compensated.

The average salary of a CMO in the US is around $250,000 per year and in India is around $50,000. However, salaries can vary widely depending on factors such as experience, industry, and geographic location. For example, CMOs in the tech industry tend to earn higher salaries than those in other industries, due to the competitive nature of the market.

Salaries also depend on the stage of the company. Bootstrapped startups generally pay a lower salary compared to high-growth startups and industry tech leaders who pay really well.


Challenges of the Chief Marketing Officer role

In marketing, it seems that everyone wants to talk to, sell to, or become a CMO. But, most don’t understand what it takes to succeed in one of the business’s most challenging roles.

In any organization, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is responsible for driving profits through marketing efforts. However, this can be a difficult task, as marketing is an unpredictable field. Additionally, the pressure to drive profits often leads to a short tenure for CMOs.

In fact, the average CMO only stays in their position for about 42 months. This is due to the fact that they are constantly under pressure to deliver results. The unpredictable effect of marketing efforts, coupled with the need to drive profits, often leads to a short tenure for most CMOs. Additionally, they are often held accountable for marketing campaigns that fail. As a result, it is not uncommon for CMOs to be replaced on a regular basis. While this may be frustrating for those in the position, it is simply part of the job.


CMOs of leading companies

Let’s look at the brief profiles of some of the CMOs at leading companies.

Fara Howard – CMO, GoDaddy

Fara Howard is the CMO at GoDaddy. She has 20+ years of experience leading digital, retail, branding, and creative across multiple industries. Her experiences range from global brand management and creative campaign development to leading analytical, P&L-led marketing organizations for multi-billion dollar brands. She has previously served as the CMO at Amazon Fashion and VP, Global Marketing for Vans. Fara has done her MBA from the University of Michigan.


Alex Schultz – CMO, Meta

Alex Schultz is one of the pioneers in growth hacking. Schultz has worked at Meta for the last 15 years and has previously served as VP, Growth & Analytics at Facebook. Schultz has also worked as a Marketing Manager at Ebay. He has an MSc from the University of Cambridge.


Lorraine Twohill – CMO, Google

Lorraine held various roles in the company, including running Google’s marketing efforts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She ultimately was promoted to become head of global marketing in 2009. She has previously held marketing roles at various companies. She attended Dublin City University and graduated with a joint honors degree in International Marketing and Languages.


Leslie Berland – CMO, Twitter

Leslie Berland is the CMO & Head of People at Twitter since 2016. She has previously worked in senior roles at American Express as VP, SVP, and EVP. She has studied at Boston University. She has been ranked by Forbes in their world’s most influential CMOs list.


Seth Farbman – CMO, Spotify

Seth Farbman has served since April 2015 as Spotify’s first chief marketing officer. Farbman was previously global CMO at Gap Inc., having held that position since February 2011. Prior to Gap, Farbman served as worldwide managing director for the ad agency at Ogilvy & Mather, where he developed marketing campaigns for brands such as Coca-Cola, Time Warner Cable, UPS, and Unilever; he then founded OgilvyEarth, a sustainability marketing practice where he held the title President of Integrated Global Sustainability Practice. In 2014, Forbes named Farbman one of the “10 Most Influential CMOs.” Farbman holds a communications and journalism degree from Syracuse University.


Marian Lee – CMO, Netflix

Marian Lee is the CMO at Netflix after being promoted from VP, of marketing. She has previously served as the Global Vice President at Spotify and has worked with some of the leading brands in fashion and music. Her other experience spans various roles at Condé Nast including VOGUE, program management at Gilt Groupe, and marketing at J.Crew. Marian began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a management consultant.


Linda Boff – CMO, General Electric

Linds became the CMO at General Electric after serving as executive director of Global Digital Marketing since 2011. Previously, she served as GE’s global director of marketing communications. Before coming to GE, Boff was director of marketing and communications at Citi. In 2015, Mashable named Boff the Individual Digital Marketing Innovator of the Year. Boff attended Union College, where she earned a bachelor of arts in political science and psychology.


In order to be successful as a CMO, it’s important to have an understanding of the different aspects of marketing and how they work together. Additionally, staying up-to-date on current trends and changes in the industry is essential.

If you enjoyed reading this post, check out our other posts on our blog and also take business assessments to ensure that your company is moving towards success.

We hope that this article has provided you with some valuable insights into what it takes to be a successful CMO. Here are some other related articles that cover topics related to building the right startup team.

Are there any other areas you would like us to cover? Let us know.

We hope that this article has provided you with some valuable insights into what it takes to be a successful CMO. Are there any other areas you would like us to cover? Let us know.

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