For years, corporate experts have claimed that the position of CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) is dead. But marketing will never be obsolete – this position is certainly not gone, but perhaps it’s just evolved. In today’s job market, flexibility is a key quality for senior management, and top executives are expected to have a wide variety of skills and strengths. So rather than writing off the CMO position as a thing of the past, consider that perhaps it’s simply the title that’s changed, not the position. For those ambitious professionals who want to know what it takes, and how to become a CMO, you’ll need to sharpen your skills in several sectors – get your toolkit ready, and good luck!
Step 1. What Does A CMO Do?
As mentioned, this popular position has been the source of lots of speculation in recent years, specifically concerning its fate in the business world. But as the title changes, so does the spectrum of tasks that hopeful applicants should master. Traditionally speaking, the CMO was responsible for orchestrating and overseeing spending for the marketing department. With the ubiquity of “brand management,” a buzzword, but no passing trend, marketing as we know it has been drastically altered. Add in the impact of social media, and the speed with which information can be published, shared, and spread, and it’s clear that CMO’s must adapt to these huge changes. Furthermore, marketing is only one small aspect of the responsibilities of today’s multi-talented CMOs. Strategic planning, revenue generation, analysis of market trends, and a deep knowledge of the company’s product are all of paramount importance. To be a CMO today, you need creativity, strategy, and foresight. You should have a solid understanding of your brand, and you should strive to create loyal customers. You must be able to react quickly, to current events, to press, to scandals. Simply stated, you need to be the voice, present the best face, and function as the brain of your company – all at once.
Step 2. Check Your Qualifications
As the name would suggest, the Chief Marketing Officer was traditionally an expert in all things marketing. It stands to reason that in past generations, a degree in marketing would be an elementary requirement. But many companies now believe that a well-rounded education, marked by any quality diploma from a respectable institution, is more important than what you studied ten years ago. What really counts is your work experience. The beauty of today’s CMO position lies in the variety of industries and options for these executives, as well as the diversity of their backgrounds. According to a study done by Forbes Insights, only 35 percent of current CMO’s had a background “entirely in marketing.” So, for those who recognized their goal of becoming a CMO later in the game, there’s still time. What do you have to offer? What are your accomplishments? How have you helped your former employers to drive the brand? Brainstorm your skills and strengths; specifically, how your past experiences could inform your new role as the driving force for your company’s brand. Useful skills may include: social media management, the development of strategic marketing plans, sales and lead generation, brand positioning, negotiating cooperations between your company and others, team leadership, budgeting, analysis of KPI’S for customer engagement… The list is endless. Any task which helped you to position your company, as well as operational knowledge and business intelligence experience, could make you a perfect candidate for a CMO position.
Step 3. Get Hired!
Now is the time to get out and chase your dream. Job postings on sites like Experteer advertise openings for CMOs in a variety of industries. If you’re hoping to become a CMO sooner rather than later, try to find a headhunter who may be able to aid you in your quest to take this next career step. You’d be surprised by how much a recruiter may be able to help you with your goal! If you’re not looking actively at the moment, focus on using this valuable time in your current position to strengthen the skills you’ll need to be a CMO – things like strategic planning, communication, and more. When you feel ready to make the leap, you’ll have amassed the skills necessary to prove that you really are the best candidate for the job! We wish you success!