The Top Six Things to Look for in Hiring a New CMO

5 Minute Read

The role of Chief Marketing Officer has drastically changed into one that plays a strategic role for the entire organization. When hiring a CMO, this person must not only be a dynamic marketer, but must have traits and qualities of a leader that can step up and speak out to help drive revenue forward. As the market becomes more tech savvy, the CMO must be able to deliver measurable results, understand the vision, process, and be creative enough to keep the company visible, intrusive, positive, and productive.

What are the top things to look for when hiring a CMO? Here are a few:


  • Product-minded


The CMO must be product-minded. This means they must not only understand the brand, but be able to identify the consumer journey for every brand persona that exists. They must be able to devise and implement a plan for your products that include the key influencers, buyers and markets, what should be segmented, how to position your products, pricing, packaging, sales and customer engagement. In essence, they should be able to take your product from concept to shelf, gaining customers along the way.


  • Strategic thinker and communicator


The CMO must be able to think strategically and communicate those ideas to the management team. They should be able to push back and defend their position, providing data as to why they are recommending certain things that do not align with the current goals and objectives. Their role is to make sure the company is viewed as an industry innovator and thought leader where not only customers come to get insight, but competitors and the press as well.


  • Cross-organizational leadership


The CMO must be able to build a strong marketing team and also be savvy enough to become the next CIO. They should be able to understand and get buy-in from every department in the organization, facilitating positive change along the way. They must have a diverse skill set, with the ability to run multiple departments if they need to. This is the ultimate team player, with a consistent eye on ROI.


  • Sales mindset


The CMO must be a sales expert, being able to sell their concepts and ideas not only within the company to the internal stakeholders, but outside of the company to the general public. They must be able to analyze current data and adapt marketing plans and campaigns quickly and efficiently to complement the bigger picture. They should be able to clearly communicate and share the big wins, and do everything in scalable fashion on a budget. Sales and marketing have shared goals; they must work together in alignment for the greater good.


  • Multichannel master


There are a number of channels that have now been integrated into the marketing role. The CMO must be a master at them all, being able to embrace and deliver with a holistic and integrated approach to execution. From data analysis to choosing the right colors, they must deliver. They must have a good grasp of digital marketing, SEO, social media and other techniques and approaches that must be used to enhance the visibility and reach of the organization. They must use their public relations knowledge to influence the email marketing campaigns and be able to assess and recommend new strategies for traffic acquisition.

The CMO is the lifeline of the entire organization. They are the storytellers and brand builders of the company, with a deep understanding of the consumers that will help it continue to grow. They are consumer-centric, with the ability to wield executive-level influence every step of the way. They are not only the creative brain of the organization, but must be able to demonstrate why those creative ideas will fuel change to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Good CMO’s are visionaries, with the innate ability to have most employees and outsiders envisioning them as the CEO. They know how to bring marketing, technology and innovation together from an analytical standpoint, being able to forecast and foresee what is coming down the road. These six traits are very important, and are good benchmarks to start from when searching for a CMO for your organization.


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