Ten traits of Good CMOs

80% of CEOs don’t trust or are unimpressed with their CMOs. (In comparison, just 10% of the same CEOs feel that way about their CFOs and CIOs.) CMOs also sense a severe problem. In surveys, 74% say their jobs don’t allow them to maximize their impact on the business. This troubled relationship helps explain why CMOs have the highest turnover but there is more to this story.

Many CMO turnover stems from poor performance and a focus on metrics that don’t add value to the bottom line. Too many buy into the hype around consumers’ use of specific channels that usually can’t be measured. Sure TikTok is hot right now but how do you measure its impact on sales?

So what makes a good CMO?

1ne: Being able to turn insights into actionable stories. Creating a marketing strategy is very similar to writing. Still, instead of creating quirky relatable characters, you’re telling the story of your company’s brand and what it should embody. You want to be able to reach out to consumers and connect with them on an emotional level.

2wo: Looking at your brand/product as a consumer. One of the best things you can do is to view issues from an alternative angle. Try and take a different approach to something and leave your regular conventions at the door.

3hree: Collaboration. Collaboration is exciting. It offers the opportunity to share your ideas with another passionate individual in the hope of creating something wonderfully unique. You can discover new strengths, delegate tasks, and make a smooth production process. You can reach inject your flavor of creativity into one project, in the end, deliver a product that shines.

4our: Ensuring your agencies challenge ideas and tactics. Anyone can hire an agency to do what they say, but good agencies push back and are held accountable for their recommendations.

5ive: Having an in-depth understanding of your customers and target audience. Demographics, alone, aren’t enough anymore. CMOs need a constant listening tool for why current customers buy their products and what prospects seek.

6ix: Sharing the successes and taking the blame. Too many CMOs love to get their name in trade magazines and take credit for successful campaigns that were a team effort. These are the same people who love to be wined and dined by agencies and are already positioning themselves for their next job.

7even: Getting out in the field and listening to retail buyers and brokers. Sure, the research said it would work, but your brokers and buyers don’t care, or it doesn’t interest them.

8ight: Having a bad relationship with CFOs and CEOs. Many CFOs and CMOs believe that marketing is an expense to cut when sales decline. This is one reason why so many brands lose market share during downturns.

9ine: Inability to utilize and understand what data says. Not all data is 100% accurate. Good CMOs knows what data is actionable and what data requires more research.

woman and business plan

10en: Having too big an ego. So many CMOs have massive egos. It’s all about them and commercial photo shoots with agencies to exotic locations. They believe they are more significant than the brand and often feel that other executives don’t understand marketing.

CMOs can last and succeed, but the job requires complex skills. Perhaps the best talent is being a good salesman.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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