Chief Marketing OfficerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

A chief marketing officer (CMO) is responsible for organizing a company’s marketing and branding activities. Their goal is to increase sales by using brand management, customer service, marketing communications, market research, distribution channel management, and product marketing to generate revenue. Some of the main responsibilities of a CMO are planning, developing, implementing, and monitoring business marketing strategies.

They are also expected to find creative ways to motivate and inspire their marketing teams to boost productivity levels. This top-level executive position is what many marketers hope to one day achieve. They are the head of the marketing department, and to become a CMO, you’ll need extensive levels of experience and education.

Sample job description

[Your company name] is in need of a knowledgeable and devoted chief marketing officer to lead our marketing department. Our office is a fast-paced environment with a need for accuracy and meeting strict deadlines. If you have a passion for sales and brand marketing, along with strong leadership skills and experience in marketing, this job could be a good fit for you. This position requires a B.S. degree in an applicable field. Experience and an M.S. degree in a related field are a plus. The ideal candidate will spearhead the development of our updated brand and consumer strategy to enable us to continue to inspire fierce consumer loyalty while expanding to new product categories, audiences, markets, and channels.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Campaign planning and execution
  • Market research
  • Create and maintain a competition-crushing, differentiated approach to our market
  • Determining consumer market and pricing guidelines
  • Campaign media selection
  • Handling advertising contracts with third parties
  • Oversee teams responsible for brand identity, brand reputation, and brand marketing activation, including packaging and graphic design, brand content & assets, social media activation, and PR
  • Product management
  • Motivating marketing team members to boost productivity
  • Establish a vision for a broadened consumer-facing brand proposition

Education and experience

  • 10 years of marketing experience
  • 5 years of management experience
  • B.S. degree in Marketing
  • M.S. degree in an applicable field a plus

Required skills and qualifications

  • Demonstrable success with marketing campaigns and programs
  • Specific areas of expertise such as targeted marketing
  • Advanced knowledge of data analytics
  • Ability to stay organized in a fast-paced work environment
  • Effective market research skills and experience
  • Team leadership skills
  • Resume of marketing success
  • Excellent business administrations skills
  • Superb decision-making skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong understanding of both the creative and analytical side of traditional marketing channels
  • Above average competency in the use of technology

Preferred qualifications

  • M.S. in Marketing

Average salary and compensation

The average base salary for a chief marketing officer is $175,000 per year in the United States. While only base salaries are reflected here, commissions and bonuses may greatly increase total compensation. Additionally, salaries will vary based on experience, company size, industry, and geographic market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$174,000$245,700
Los Angeles, California$196,350$275,650
Denver, Colorado$163,300$231,350
Washington, DC$199,350$279,650
Miami, Florida$162,900$230,350
Orlando, Florida$150,250$213,250
Tampa, Florida$151,700$215,250
Atlanta, Georgia$159,150$225,350
Chicago, Illinois$182,950$257,550
Boston, Massachusetts$197,850$277,650
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$157,700$223,300
New York City, New York$208,250$291,750
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$169,550$239,400
Dallas, Texas$165,100$233,100
Houston, Texas$164,350$232,000
Seattle, Washington$190,400$268,800

Typical work environment

Do you enjoy getting to the heart of a topic? Are you an expert troubleshooter and instructor? A position as a chief marketing officer will work in offices or from home, spending most of their time on a computer. They can also expect to run meetings and travel to meet with clients or attend conferences. They will be meeting with the other top executives in the company on a regular basis and serve as a liaison between the marketing team and the executives.

Typical hours

A typical CMO work week consists of 40-hour workweeks. Chief marketing officers may also be expected to spend time traveling for seminars, conferences, or client meetings, which will require weekends and some holidays. Meeting strict deadlines is a huge requirement in the field of marketing, so overtime may also be required from CMOs from time to time.

Available certifications

It goes without mentioning that certifications are one of the best ways to increase marketability and demonstrate professional dedication. Seeing as how there are numerous certification programs to choose from, here are just a few of the most reputable certifications that are worth obtaining.

  • Professional Certified Marketer (PCM). The PCM program meets national professional certification criteria. There are two levels, the regular certification and the expert certification. The regular consists of 30 hours of coursework, and the expert consists of 120 hours. Candidates are required to pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is required every 3 years. 
  • Project Management Professional (PMP). Due to CMOs always needing to manage projects, this is a great certification to obtain. The PMP requires at least three years of work experience and a bachelor’s degree. On top of that, you’ll need 35 hours of continuing education. Candidates are expected to pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is required every 3 years. 
  • Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS). This certification teaches you about advertising and promotional projects. The CAS requires a minimum of 2 years of education or training after high school along with at least 2 years of work experience. Candidates are required to pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is required every 3 years. 
  • Certified Management Executive (CME). Because CMOs are chief executives, this certification will teach them everything they need to know about senior level management and leadership. CME certification requires at least 2 years of education or training. Candidates are required to pass an oral or written exam. Recertification required every 3 years. 
  • Certified Sales Professional (CSP). Marketing is all about selling, and knowledge in sales is knowledge in marketing! The CSP requires at least 2 years of education or training after high school along with a minimum of 2 years of work experience. Candidates are required to pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is required every 3 years.

Career path

The most logical first step in becoming a chief marketing officer is obtaining an applicable bachelor’s degree. Many hopeful candidates then go on to pursue a master’s degree in marketing. Experience in marketing is also a necessary requirement for prospective chief marketing officers. Certifications are always a smart addition to one’s resume, no matter the choice of career.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-1011

2020 Employment292,500
Projected Employment in 2030275,700
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 6% Decrease
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift16,800 Decrease

While the projected number of chief executives is decreasing by 6% over the next 10 years, it is still a very promising career to invest in. Marketing is getting more popular, and with the introduction of fast product-to-market items, experienced marketers will always be needed.

Sample interview questions

  • What does your marketing dashboard entail?
  • Which KPIs do you track?
  • What steps do you take to determine how to brand a company’s products and services?
  • In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge you face as a chief marketing officer? How do you overcome this challenge?
  • What steps do you take to ensure the highest level of productivity from your marketing department staff members?
  • What is your preferred pricing framework?
  • What are some tools and techniques you have accrued throughout your career in marketing?
  • What steps do you take to balance inbound and outbound marketing?
  • What would you do differently at your last job, if you could go back and change it?
  • What are your marketing strengths? What would you say are your weaknesses?
  • What do you know about our company? If given complete creative freedom, what changes would you make and why?
  • What marketing strategies do you have previous experience with?
  • Tell me about your best scaling strategies. 
  • Have you ever had to overhaul your marketing strategy in light of new circumstances? How did it turn out?
  • Have you ever had to manage a difficult situation regarding someone on your team? Tell me about it. 
  • Have you ever had to bring team members together to collaborate? How did you do it?
  • What words would your previous coworkers use to describe you when asked?
  • What qualities do you look for in new hires?
  • What would you do if you were faced with a situation where you had an excellent employee but they did not work well with others?
  • Have you ever made a decision that went against your gut instinct? What was the result? Would you do anything differently if faced with that situation again?
  • Have you ever faced a conflict where you had to choose between an analytical resolve and an intuition based choice? What was the outcome? What would you change next time?

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