What’s a CMO?

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A CMO oversees a company’s marketing operation, including advertising, brand awareness, public relations, and identifying partnerships. They must also evaluate strategies and make adjustments as needed. Education and experience are important, and high salaries come with high expectations.

A chief marketing officer, or CMO, oversees the entire marketing operation of a company or organization and is usually one of the executive team members. While the CMO’s job may seem quite limited, it often incorporates a range of marketing strategies and the assessment that goes along with those strategies.

The main duties of a CMO include responsibility and oversight of advertising, brand awareness and public relations. A CMO might also be tasked with identifying partnerships that could benefit the company and even engaging in some dual marketing efforts where both companies are promoted.

These partnerships usually occur between companies that are related or at least have some of the same customers, but are not directly in competition with each other. In popular culture, an example is children’s meals at fast food restaurants. Often movie studios and entertainment companies collaborate with fast food restaurants to promote both brands. While some associations may not be as obvious, a good CMO will recognize these opportunities.

Evaluation is another important part of a CMO’s work. With any executive, they must keep track of which strategies are working and be flexible enough to make adjustments as quickly as possible. Because of this part of the job, many CMOs not only have a fair amount of education in marketing principles, but also statistics.

Education and experience are important considerations when companies look for a CMO. While it may depend on the size of the company, a common requirement is at least 10 years of experience, with increasing levels of responsibility. Typically, a postgraduate degree is also a requirement.

This education and experience is usually rewarded with a sizable salary. It is not uncommon for a CMO to earn well into the six figures. Recent ads from companies looking for CMO salary list of $300,000 and up.

However, with high salaries come even higher expectations. Business Week reports that the average tenure for a CMO is 26 months. The rest of the executive team expects the CMO to produce almost instantaneous results. Sometimes these expectations may not be possible. Building a brand takes a lot of patience, but with the amount of money often spent on marketing campaigns, patience is not a common quality.

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