Chief Marketing Officer

No matter what industry you do business in, marketing is critical to the success of your company. Similarly, the larger your business grows, the more high-level executive employees you need to hire. While some small businesses do just fine with a marketing manager, larger operations must hire a marketer specifically for the C-suite.

If you’re an employer looking to recruit a Chief Marketing Officer, please see our marketing executive recruitment services and the full overview of our employer services.

Having worked with many Fortune 500 companies, CulverCareers knows the importance of hiring the right Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Not only must these candidates be great leaders, but they also ensure uniformity and order across all marketing avenues.

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What is a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)?

A CMO is the highest-level marketing position in any organization. With large global entities, this means coordinating brand messaging, content marketing, and advertising across diverse geographies and cultures. While smaller businesses might split marketing duties among different executives, a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) takes full responsibility of the marketing department.

It’s up to your CMO to create a comprehensive marketing plan that applies to every facet of your organization. By working with your Chief Sales Officer (CSO), your CMO will ensure that your brand remains relevant and competitive in your market. These candidates have rare leadership qualities, as well as the confidence to make the right decision about your brand when the time comes.

Why or Why Not Might a CMO Be Useful? 

The size of your organization will largely determine the types of marketing roles you will need to implement. For example, smaller companies with limited marketing needs will likely do just fine with a hands-on marketing director. Yet, as you work your way up to larger organizations, you will want to hire a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) that can optimize and scale your efforts.

When your organization grows to a certain size, it requires executive-level marketers to reach the next level. Since CMOs generally hold MBA degrees in marketing and have extensive experience, they are the only ones who can fill such roles. In the end, there is a huge difference between a marketing manager with practical experience and a well-educated executive with a high-level degree.

What is the Typical Job Description for a CMO?

As the top marketer in your organization, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) handles all the executive decision-making for your marketing department. Their oversight includes research, branding, advertising, and customer outreach.

Using relevant research, a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) will anticipate future market trends and position your company accordingly. With a strategy in place based on relevant market data, your CMO will execute marketing initiatives with different branches in your marketing department. Moreover, it is the job of your CMO to work with the sales department to ensure that marketing insights are utilized to maximize sales.

Another important part of a CMO’s job is delegating important information and strategies to other important team members like marketing directors.

How Much Does a CMO Typically Earn?

Due to the fact that CMOs are the highest-paid marketers in any organization, they often demand large salaries. Still, salaries can vary quite dramatically depending on the job in question as well as the location. For example, a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at a small corporation in Ohio will likely make much less than a CMO at a large IT company in Silicon Valley.

On the lower end of the spectrum, CMOs can expect to make around $120,000 per year. However, many CMOs make well over $300,000 per year, with those at Fortune 500 companies like Dell Computers making upwards of $1,000,000. With such large variances in pay, Culver recommends doing a thorough assessment of your industry before developing a pay structure for your CMO.

How Do I Hire a CMO?

As experienced recruiters know, hiring for the C-suite is an entirely different process than other positions. Not only must you hire a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at the right time, but you also need to find a candidate that specializes in your field. After that, understanding your business needs and long-term objectives is a great start in developing a CMO job description.

It’s important to note that qualified CMOs don’t last long on the job market. As such, the recruitment process for these positions often takes a good deal of time and strategic planning. In many scenarios, businesses look to recruit passive CMO candidates who are still employed. Needless to say, it takes very special types of marketing recruitment services to work through these delicate situations.

You should complete a thorough assessment of your industry when developing a pay structure for your CMO position. Not only must you offer a competitive salary for your industry, but you should also include benefits that attract C-level talent – such as non-qualified deferred compensation (NQDC) retirement packages.

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