What Does a CMO do? Top Skills, Salary, and a Complete Career Roadmap

What Does a CMO do? Top Skills, Salary, and a Complete Career Roadmap | Leadership | Emeritus

A Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) plays a critical role in helping businesses grow efficiently by leading an organization’s marketing initiatives and increasing its engagement, brand awareness, and sales. The CMO can be an excellent career path for you if you have a passion for marketing. This brings us to what does a CMO do? This guide gives you a complete overview of the CMO’s role and how to succeed in the field.  

strip banner

Must-Have Skills for a CMO

A CMO is a senior executive responsible for the overall marketing strategy of an organization. They work closely with other departments, such as sales and product development, to ensure the alignment of the marketing initiatives with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. The key skills of a CMO include:  

  • Leadership 
  • Communication
  • Teamwork 
  • Agility 
  • Data analytics and interpretation
  • Content management 
  • Flexibility and adaptability 
  • Vision and strategic planning
  • Technical knowledge 
  • Digital marketing expertise  
  • Customer and user experience
  • Creativity and innovative thinking 

The Roles and Responsibilities of a CMO

What does a CMO do on a day-to-day basis as part of the job, and what does their job profile look like? Let’s consider the responsibilities that this position entails: 

  • Developing, implementing, and managing marketing strategies 
  • Setting marketing goals and objectives 
  • Managing and mentoring the marketing team
  • Measuring and reporting marketing campaigns 
  • Driving the organization’s overall growth
  • Conducting market research and identifying target markets 
  • Analyzing and improving marketing strategies 
  • Overseeing the marketing budget and efficiently allocating resources 
  • Collaborating with other departments
  • Keeping abreast of the competition, market trends, and consumer behavior

The Job Description of a CMO

The ideal candidate for a CMO’s position needs to have a combination of education, experience, and skill in marketing, leadership, and business. Simply put, a CMO should possess the following qualifications and responsibilities:

  • Degree in marketing or a related field
  • Proven experience in marketing or related roles 
  • Strong analytical and leadership skills
  • Sound understanding of marketing principles
  • Expertise in digital marketing 
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills

Qualifications Required by a CMO

Gaining a CMO position demands expertise and a background in marketing. The position typically requires at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Public Relations, Business Administration, or a related field. A Master’s Degree in Marketing or MBA is also generally preferred by many companies. Furthermore, as CMO is a senior-level role, it requires several years of marketing experience with a proven track record for developing and implementing marketing strategies. 

How to Become a CMO

Now that you know what does a CMO do and the qualifications required to become one, here are some steps that can help you get there:

Step 1: Get the Education Needed 

A CMO requires an educational background in marketing with at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing or a related field. Obtaining a degree will allow you to gain the foundational knowledge required to work effectively in this role. 

Step 2: Gain the Necessary Experience 

Most CMO positions require marketing experience of approximately 10 to 15 years. Look for diverse work opportunities to take on more responsibilities and gain new skills. Build relationships with other marketing professionals and industry leaders to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the field. 

Step 3: Develop Essential Skills 

Mastering your skills, particularly leadership skills, are a must for CMOs. Professionals in this role are C-Suite executives who are responsible for numerous individuals and lead the organization’s marketing efforts to succeed. Consider taking online courses to develop your marketing skills further.

Step 4: Master Team Management Skills

As CMOs are leaders of their teams, it is critical for those aiming to become CMOs to master their people skills. It is valuable to help motivate and inspire their team and resolve conflicts. 

Step 5: Find a Mentor 

Connect with industry leaders with years of experience and expertise in marketing. A good mentor can offer valuable insights, resolve queries, enhance knowledge, and shape your career.

ALSO READ: How to Become a CMO and Scale Your Company’s Growth

Difference Between a CEO and CMO

A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and CMO are both senior executive positions within an organization, but they have different roles and responsibilities. As a top official in the organization, a CEO is responsible for the overall management, performance, goals, objectives, and direction of an organization. 

A CMO, on the other hand, is a senior executive who reports to the CEO. The CMO is responsible for leading the overall marketing strategy and execution of the organization’s marketing goals and objectives. They also ensure that the marketing efforts are aligned with the organization’s targets. 

How Much Does a CMO Make?

CMOs are well compensated across the world. Let’s look at the average annual salary of a CMO, based on location, according to PayScale:  

Location Average Salary  
U.S. $177,738
U.K. $122,560
Canada  $111,680
Australia  $132,068

Is Becoming a CMO a Good Career Move?

This is a high-pressure and fast-paced job that can be a challenging but highly rewarding career opportunity for professionals with a passion for marketing. CMOs also have the potential to advance to even higher-level positions. In addition to excellent benefits, they also lead organizations to success through their marketing initiatives.

ALSO READ: How Can a CMO Program Help Professionals Drive Organizational Growth

Does the CMO Rank Higher Than a VP?

A CMO and Vice President (VP) are both senior executive positions and have a high level of decision-making authority, but the exact level of seniority can vary depending on an organization’s structure. A VP is a more general title and refers to a wide range of senior executive roles, such as VP of sales, or operations, or marketing.

Now that you know what does a CMO do, keep developing your skills, stay updated with the latest trends, and be open to learning new things. Explore Emeritus’ leadership and sales and marketing courses to help you in your journey to becoming a CMO.  

Write to us at content@emeritus.org 

About the Author

Writer, Emeritus Blog
Krati is a Senior Content Executive contributing to the Emeritus Blog. She brings a diverse range of skills and expertise to the table and over 7 years of experience in digital media, enabling her to create high-quality, engaging content for the digital space. Having studied both journalism and engineering, she is the team’s go-to writer for stories about technology. When she is not busy crafting great content, Krati is usually engrossed in a good book, blogging about K-dramas, or fangirling over BTS like there's no tomorrow!
Read more

Courses on Leadership Category

Courses inLeadership | Education Program  | Emeritus

Wharton Executive Education

Business Acumen for Executives

6 weeks


Last Date to Apply: February 22, 2024

Courses inDigital Transformation | Education Program  | Emeritus

Columbia Business School Executive Education

Digital Business Leadership Program

7 Months


Starts on: February 26, 2024

Courses inDigital Marketing | Education Program  | Emeritus

Kellogg Executive Education

Chief Marketing Officer Program

12 Months


Starts on: February 27, 2024

US +1-606-268-4575
US +1-606-268-4575