Career Guide: What is a Chief Marketing Officer?

Why does a company need a Chief Marketing Officer?

The power behind marketing is on the rise.  If you are looking for a career in marketing there could not be a more perfect time for you to join the expanding field than now.  With the various platforms now available it is statistically proven that having a Chief Marketing Officer (or CMO) is vital to a company’s success.  A CMO is a corporate executive who has more responsibilities than one sentence can handle.  As the job description seems to be ever changing one thing reigns true, being versatile is crucial.

Education, Internships, Experience, & Useful Skills

According to the Harvard Business Review, having an advanced degree in Business with a concentration in marketing (MBA) is not required but would set you above the individuals trying to receive the same CMO position.  When applying for internships you should look for something with an established, well organized company. This will give you a broad experience that will either reassure you about the field you have chosen or make it known that this is not the direction you want to head.

Once interning is done and you have been working in field of Communication for some time, your required experience for a CMO position includes: 10 years of business and or marketing development experience with an increase of responsibility over that course of time and at least 3-5 years of experience in a leadership role.

In addition to experience you will need a certain set of skills in order to be both successful and desirable.  This includes budgeting and finance, production, leadership skills and inspiration to guide your team.  The passion for what you are doing and strong communication skills will also help you succeed.

Responsibilities that come with a Rewarding Salary

Chief Marketing Officer’s main responsibilities lye within planning, developing, and executing organized marketing strategies that increase their company’s profits.   Tools that help aid this process include market research, product marketing, marketing communications, advertising, and public relations.  When reporting progress directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the CMO strives to bring their company together as one voice.  This not only reassures the CEO that the entire team is on the same page, but this also represents the cohesive atmosphere that the CMO was able to create.

Working your way up the corporate ladder is not an easy task and comes with a lot of responsibility.  The average salary for a CMO in the Philadelphia area is $189, 521 annually at growth according to executives.  This is one of the highest paid positions within the Communication field.  The highest paid CMO found on the internet comes from the University of Miami.  He gets paid a whopping $547,185 annually.  Although this is rare, his salary is a great representation of hard work put into a salary at growth.

Possible Questions that could save your Interview

How can you prepare for an interview at corporate level?  I did some research and found possible interview questions written by…

  • What role can marketing play in helping the business overcome the current economic realities?
  • How would you define success in the role you are interviewing for?
  • What skills do you ring that we don’t already have?
  • How do you utilize marketing analytics to drive your results?
  • Can you provide a recent example where you were responsible for changing the strategy for your brand that had measurable impact on revenue? How did you come to this change?
  • When heading into a meeting with one of your teams, what is most important to convey: what they have to do (the creative deliverables) or why they have to do it (the business reasons)?
  • Is “differentiation” enough or should a company focus on “innovation”?

Want to Further your Research?

There are a lot of blogs that can give you more information straight from Chief Marketing Officers.  Marketing Pilgrim, PSFK, TopRank, and Adage are all blogs that you can easily google search and read into.  The world needs more passionate and innovative marketing leaders.



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