Knowing how to become a CMO is something many marketers aspire to achieve. It means having a seat at the table of the senior leadership for your organization. It creates an opportunity to shape and mold the growth strategy for your business. It’s an exciting seat to sit in, but it’s one that requires several skillsets that challenge your leadership abilities, cast doubt on some of your perceptions, and undoubtedly, enables you to grow faster than you thought possible.
This article is not about climbing the corporate ladder. This is about true marketing leadership and your willingness to adopt a CMOs mindset in the work you do. Even if you’re newer in the marketing industry, the sooner you identity what it takes to become a CMO, the better off you’ll be.
What is a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)?
A CMO is a marketer in an executive role within an organization. They oversee the entire marketing organization, whether that be at a global scale or in a smaller marketing team environment. Their responsibilities will likely include brand marketing, product marketing, multichannel digital marketing, media advertising, people management, budgeting, creative, partnership development, corporate communications and potentially more.
In today’s marketing team environment, data-marketing is quickly becoming the primary source of truth. Unfortunately, most marketers report not having the ability to leverage data effectively in their marketing decisions. The role of tomorrow’s CMO will be to guide the use of data-marketing, while maintaining the creative aspects of marketing that drive results.
Tomorrow’s CMO is required to use as much of their left brain analytical skills as they do their right brain, creative ideas. This is a culture clash for many marketing teams. The reason for this is that many marketers go into the field for the creativity. The idea of strapping creative people down with data can be a morale issue amongst creative types.
This is why CMO certification programs like The Left Brain | Right Brain CMO are becoming more and more necessary as a part of professional development for marketers. Learning how to leverage data is one part. Beyond that, marketers need to learn how to communicate more effectively to other executives. They need to be able to illustrate the Return On Investment (ROI) when advocating for marketing investments.