Secrets of the Successful CMO


Follow these seven tips to emulate the characteristics of the most successful chief marketing officers in the industry.

Congratulations – you have just won the jackpot of marketing strategy success stories! Now, read this column quickly, before other chief marketing officers (CMOs) find it and have it pulled from the Internet. They won’t be happy that I am sharing their proven secrets to success with the world.

Just kidding. Any marketing vice president or CMO reading this article will be thrilled to share their strategies for success. In fact, sharing success strategies is one of the key characteristics of the most successful senior marketers. I just spent three days at a summit with some of the world’s most incredible CMOs and marketing leaders. Although we all arrived at the summit with individual goals and KPIs, collectively we created a force of innovation and inspiration for each other. As we laid our cards on the table, we discussed common pain points, as well as opportunity areas and challenges. We became an unstoppable force of relentless success for each of our respective businesses. It only seemed right to share some of those learnings with you.

Want to know all of the dirty secrets of CMO success? They can be summed up in one word: freedom. To learn more, keep reading.

Marketing success equals FREEDOM:

  1. Fail: The best and strongest marketers live a bit on the edge. They are willing to try new concepts and take calculated risks. They fail fast and iterate quickly. Oftentimes, failure leads to an even sweeter success.
  2. Refer: Pay it forward because everything always comes full circle. When you refer your hardest-working vendor to your colleague, or help a team member who is looking to move on find a new home, it will almost always pay dividends in return.
  3. Elevate: Marketing is a team effort. Elevate others who work with you to drive tremendous results deserve the accolades. You’ve heard of “happy wife, happy life” – now you know about “the happy team will build the dream.”
  4. Engage: Constant networking is hard, but critical for CMOs to be optimally successful. No one has any free time anymore, and everyone is busy – but taking the time to network and engage with your peers is critical to success.
  5. Distribute learnings: Sharing routes to success with other CMOs drives more success for you. It opens the door for conversation and partnerships and establishes credibility.
  6. Over communicate: All CMOs are after the same thing: revenue growth. They know they need each other to help push to the next level, and by partnering together, a rising tide raises all boats.
  7. Monetize everything: Ever heard the saying “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone”? Your business is no different. Don’t get complacent on your main source of revenue, monetize everything, and always look for new business models/angles to secure your future and stay on the cutting edge.

Well, there you have it. Seven steps to emulating the traits of some of the most powerful CMOs and marketing leaders on the planet. If you are an aspiring leader in marketing, or already fit the bill and want to be part of the ongoing conversations, reach me offline and I will gladly invite you to our networking group.