How CMOs can do more with less

The turnover of CMOs is the highest it has been in more than a decade. Spencer Stuart’s latest data shows that average CMO tenure in the US dropped to 40.0 months in 2020, its shortest since 2009.

The COVID-19 health crisis, and the subsequent fallout, may have had a direct impact on some CMO jobs, but other factors can’t be ignored. Consumer expectations have raised the stakes for marketers and external developments have caused significant disruption, while internal relationships also affect the CMO’s success in their role.

CMOs are being asked to do more with less, and the breadth of responsibilities is making the role unwieldy. As the CMO role continues to expand, it grows increasingly difficult for any individual to be expert in all aspects of the job.

To ensure success, CMOs must: 1) tie themselves to the strategy of the business; 2) focus on leadership style as a determining factor of success; and 3) understand CMO archetypes to match with the right role. We identify five archetypes of CMOs: strategy focused, revenue-focused, brand-focused, engagement focused, and experience-focused.