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How to be a great CMO

How to be a great CMO

A few months ago I wrote about SpencerStuart’s latest annual CMO Tenure Study. The report highlighted a continued decline in average CMO tenure, with average tenure declining to its lowest point since 2009. Median tenure had plummeted to 25.5 months, the lowest on record.

Being a CMO is a tough, tough job.

Frankly, it has never been more precarious to be a senior marketing or agency leader. 

I appeared on the On the Top of PR podcast recently with host Jason Mudd of Axia Public Relations.

We talked about advice I’d give to a new CMO, a tenured CMO or a marketer that wants to be a CMO. We covered topics like:

  • The importance of developing proxies
  • The role of prioritization and resource planning
  • Working with your agencies
  • Working with the rest of the C-suite
Some tidbits that you’ll hear on the podcast include:
“The world definitely needs more great CMOs.”
“And so at any given moment in time, it’s normal for a CMO to not feel like they can get it all done, or to feel confident that they even have the right roadmap in place to tackle what they need to do and to do it in the kind of prioritized way that allows them to get their job done.” 
“One of the first pieces of advice we give to CMOs is to ensure that they put enough effort and enough time into building effective proxies for themselves.” 
“It doesn’t mean just delegating; it means building people in a way where you’re confident that they are going to represent the company and the organization the way you need them to.” 
“Learning how to partner effectively with your agencies becomes a real ticket to how you can keep up as a CMO, how you can succeed as a CMO, and how you can make a little more time for yourself and sort of build in an insurance policy for that big investment you have in marketing.”
“It’s okay for them to be fallible. It’s okay for them to not have all the answers. They need to have confidence in what they know, though, and have confidence in how they approach things.” 
Listen to the entire discussion here:

Steve Boehler, founder, and partner at Mercer Island Group has led consulting teams on behalf of clients as diverse as Zillow Group, Microsoft, UScellular, Nintendo, Ulta Beauty, Stop & Shop, Qualcomm, Brooks Running, and numerous others. He founded MIG after serving as a division president in a Fortune 100 when he was only 32. Earlier in his career, Steve Boehler cut his teeth with a decade in Brand Management at Procter & Gamble, leading brands like Tide, Pringles, and Jif.