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CMO Definition | Chief Marketing Officer Definition
What is a CMO? The term CMO has multiple meanings across the business universe. It can stand for Chief Medical Officer, Contract Manufacturing Organization, or Collateralized Mortgage Obligation. Here at Chief Outsiders, it represents Chief Marketing Officer and defines the type of senior leadership and executive management that companies rely upon to achieve their go-to-market goals and strategies.
At Chief Outsiders, we have more than 100 Fractional Chief Marketing Officers, available for right-sized engagements, that embody the mark of CMO excellence. Each Chief Outsiders CMO is a highly-experienced industry marketing executive who is prepared to function as an integral member of your senior leadership team. They know how to be accountable to the C-suite, and are expected to oversee execution and deliver results. A CMO takes a hands-on approach with your existing marketing resources to focus on business growth, audience growth, and implement account-based management strategies.
So, if you’re looking for a Chief Medical Officer or a Collateralized Mortgage Obligation - we can’t help you there, but you need a Chief Marketing Officer - we have you covered to a “t”.
CMO Job Description | Writing a CMO Job Description
A CMO generally is considered the most senior marketing executive in a business. They report directly to the CEO and are focused on branding, digital strategies, customer acquisition, sales development and company growth. In their universe resides the in-house marketing team, external agencies, market research, and public relations – working together to generate revenue for your organization.
At Chief Outsiders, we further define the ideal CMO job description as thus: It is someone capable of bringing strategic insight and flawless execution to the disciplines of marketing that matter most to your company. They should have a wealth of industry knowledge to see your business in new ways, and the versatility to develop new programs and channels to communicate your brand promise and value proposition clearly to your audience. An experienced CMO also should have the background and experience required to reach the right markets with a well-orchestrated plan, launch, and execution strategy.
CMO Responsibilities | Role of the CMO
A CMO, traditionally speaking, is the senior-most marketing leader of any organization, and is responsible for the go-to-market strategies of the company. However, given the rise of digital marketing and the narrowing of the space between sales and marketing, the role of the CMO has evolved.
Today, they are equal parts customer champion, chief storyteller, and brand protector. The CMO can be tightly integrated with many of the core functions of your company, working with the product team on strategies around price, place, promotion, and position, and working with your sales team to understand your competitive advantage and deliver upon your brand promise.
Chief Marketing Officer Job Description for a Startup
Startup companies can realize a particular benefit in hiring an experienced Chief Marketing Officer to manage their fledgling go-to-market aspirations. Any Chief Marketing Officer Job Description for a startup must include traits like analytical thinking, cutting-edge marketing strategies, experience with partnership marketing, and a proven track record of driving successful outcomes.
A CMO from Chief Outsiders is ideally suited to deal with the challenges of startup marketing. They bring decades of experience in your industry and know how to deliver time-tested methodologies, processes, and a track record of success. Plus, a Chief Outsiders CMO can call upon other experts as needed, from our large pool of experienced leaders, to ensure you are getting the best insights and experiences for the task at hand.
Salary For Chief Marketing Officer | CMO Salary
A Chief Marketing Officer salary can be very costly for an organization; reflecting, one hopes, the value that will be realized by the CMO’s efforts over time. A quick Google search will show you CMO salary base pay ranges from $150K at the low end all the way up to $570K at the high end, with an average salary somewhere in the $250K-$300K range.
Note these are just base salaries, not total compensation; once you take benefits and incentive pay into account to get a full picture, it’s easy to see why businesses put so much effort into finding the right CMO for their challenges.
However, it’s not necessary to outlay those amounts in order to be able to enjoy the benefits of deep experience and the ability to build a world-class marketing organization that a veteran CMO can bring to the table. In fact, a fractional CMO is a great alternative to hiring a full-time CMO, and the savings realized can instead be applied towards developing the marketing team (say, a director and a junior marketer for instance), accelerating the timetable to real results.
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CMO Interview Questions
When interviewing a Chief Marketing Officer, you want to get to the core of their insights, experiences, and preparedness for your business, product, or marketplace. It is helpful to understand some of the specific marketing strategies, programs, and methods they have executed, and what specific outcomes resulted from their work. You will want to understand how the CMO approaches relationships with vendors, with internal staff, with the executive leadership team, and, most importantly, with customers. It is also key to understand their experiences working on transformative digital strategies, including tools and processes used to ingest, understand, and act upon market and customer insights. It helps to take time researching the top CMO interview questions and answers, to make sure you are focusing your efforts on the right fit for your enterprise.
Good CMO interview questions include:
- What are some specific outcomes you have driven through marketing strategies, programs, and methods?
- How do you approach relationships with your marketing team, executive management, and customers?
- What is your experience with transformative digital strategies?
- How do you incorporate customer insights into your strategy and tactics?
- What is a situation where you launched, re-launched, or positioned a product or service that worked well?
- What is a situation where you launched, re-launched, or positioned a product or service that ended poorly?
- What is your philosophy on organizing the marketing function?
- How do you balance growing internal resources versus partnering for best-of-breed capabilities?
- What is your view on marketing channels shifting in our industry?
- What is your experience with marketing automation and account-based marketing?
Hire An Outsourced CMO
Hiring an Outsourced CMO is a great option when cost savings are demanded but long and varied expertise is a must-have. An outsourced fractional Chief Marketing Officer should be an experienced marketing strategist – a top-level talent – with hands-on expertise in building a marketing system that will gain you greater visibility in your marketplace.
At Chief Outsiders, we have more than 100 Fractional Chief Marketing Officers, culled from some of the world’s best B2B and B2C companies, who are available for this type of fractional engagement. Each Chief Outsiders part-time CMO is a highly-experienced industry marketing executive who is prepared to function as an integral member of your senior leadership team – simply on an outsourced basis.
Hire a CMO FAQs
Question: What does a CMO do?
Answer: A CMO serves at the direction of the CEO, and typically embeds with the executive management team that is running the business. We work very closely with stakeholders to lead the growth strategy, as well as the construction and execution of the marketing engine.
Question: What does a CMO get paid?
Answer: Compensation for CMOs varies, depending upon the skill and experience of the consultant. Typically, CMOs collect a fee or retainer for a block of hours of dedicated time to your company.
Question: Is CMO higher than VP?
Answer: A CMO, like any member of the executive team, is the top functional leader for their area of responsibility. As such, a CMO is generally more senior than a VP.
Question: What does the acronym CMO stand for?
Answer: The acronym CMO stands for Chief Marketing Officer, although in some industries it can mean Chief Medical Officer, Collateralized Mortgage Obligation, or a Contract Manufacturing Organization.
Question: What is the difference between CEO and CMO?
Answer: A CEO is entrusted with the overall responsibility of guiding the business; a CMO is one of several senior executives who comprise the CEO’s executive leadership team.
Question: What are the responsibilities of a CMO?
Answer: A Chief Marketing Officer is charged with helping companies achieve their go-to-market goals and strategies. They know how to be accountable to the C-suite, and are expected to oversee execution and deliver results. A CMO takes a hands-on approach with your existing marketing resources to focus on business growth, audience growth, and implement account-based management strategies.
Question: How do you interview a CMO?
Answer: When interviewing a CMO, you want to get to the core of their insights, experiences, and preparedness to determine their suitability for your business, product, or marketplace.
Question: How long does it take to become a CMO?
Answer: Becoming a CMO means that a marketing leader has reached the pinnacle of their craft – a seasoned executive who is capable of creating and executing a company’s go-to-market strategy. Though there is no set timetable to become a CMO, generally, you want a well-seasoned senior marketing leader who has led marketing strategies and big picture marketing plans for many years.
Question: Can a CMO become a CEO?
Answer: A CMO – who is an essential part of the executive leadership team and is held to account for a company’s go-to-market strategies – can often be a candidate for the CEO role. Most CMOs, however, are satisfied with supporting the existing CEO in their bid to improve the company’s brand, visibility, sales, and revenues.
Question: What is a typical CMO salary?
Answer: Compensation for full-time CMOs varies widely, depending upon the skill and experience of the person, $150K - $570K numbers for base pay come up in a quick search of the internet, with averages ranging in the $250K-$300K range. Fractional CMOs, by contrast, usually collect a fee or retainer for a block of hours of dedicated time to your company, which is a much smaller outlay.
Question: What is the average age of a CMO?
Answer: CMOs can be found all over the age spectrum; but, like Admirals in the Navy, by definition, the average does tend toward those with more experience, since they are often seasoned professionals who have risen in the ranks from more junior positions, in order to be able to gain that critically required experience for the position.
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Bring Proven Interim CMOs to Your Company
Known for making big things happen, Fractional CMOs from Chief Outsiders have worked on the management teams of over 1,000 growth and mid-sized companies. Now is the time to bring the Instant Talent, Deep Expertise, and Tribal Power of Chief Outsiders Fractional CMOs to your company. Contact us at 855-777-2443 to find top Fractional CMOs and start accelerating your company’s growth today.