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What Exactly is a Company’s CMO?

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Whether you interact daily with your company’s CMO or are considering hiring one for your own company, it can be tricky to identify what a CMO does and why a CMO is critical to your company’s success.

In fact, a quick LinkedIn search of “Chief Marketing Officer” results in people with bios ranging from “creating customer-first interactions that ultimately drive loyalty and evangelism” to “coordinating marketing budgets in accordance with our organizational goals on a daily basis”.

In short, a CMO is often a broad title that can vary depending on the size of the business, the company’s goals, or the leadership team’s vision and priorities.

To help you better understand the role and daily function of a CMO, keep reading.

Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah.

What is a chief marketing officer (CMO)?

A chief marketing officer (or CMO, for short), is a C-level corporate executive who faciliates growth for the business by developing and implementing an extensive marketing plan.

The CMO’s marketing plan needs to help the company increase brand awareness, earn or retain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, and ensure each internal team’s marketing strategy is aligned with the company’s broader goals.

To better understand the role of a chief marketing officer, I asked Kipp Bodnar, HubSpot’s CMO, to describe the position in his own words.

Bodnar told me — “Today, a CMO has to balance establishing the brand and point-of-view for their business while being deeply analytical in their ability to drive business demand and test strategies.”

Bodnar added, “CMO’s are technologists and use more technology than ever before to deliver a remarkable customer experience. As technologists they have orchestrated systems, workflows, and data at scale to the entire go-to-market. ”

Here’s a list of a CMO’s typical responsibilities:

  • Develop innovative marketing strategies that result in increased revenue and brand recognition
  • Implement processes that result in greater efficiencies across the organization
  • Lead and inspire marketing teams to arrive at unique solutions for their customers
  • Work hand-in-hand with other departments, like sales and service, to ensure marketing objectives are aligned with overall company goals and will ultimately drive business growth
  • Research and assess the company’s current position in the market, and stay up-to-date on industry trends
  • Work with internal and external PR teams to create a coordinated message

In short, a CMO needs to drive both awareness and demand for a company’s products or services.

Additionally, as a member of the executive team, a CMO needs strong leadership and communication skills, as well as a level of business acumen that enables them to effectively communicate with internal marketing and sales teams, the executive board, and external stakeholders to ensure the company is aligned in their marketing efforts and vision.

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