10 skills of a successful CMO

Posted by:

David Tomas

For a successful CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) taking on an authoritative role is no longer enough, they must go beyond and take on the role of a leader. An influential CMO will lead their team with a clear purpose, vision, and mission. One that their team identifies itself with.

The volatile marketing environment calls for innovators, those who thrive in uncertain situations of rapidly evolving technologies. Those who embrace the challenge of uncertainty, and can use new tools to their advantage, are the CMO’s that will rise with their team and with their firm. 

Traditionally, to face the challenge, a CMO carried a ‘toolkit of knowledge’ acquired through education and has implemented this over years. Every 3-5 years this ‘toolkit of knowledge’ would be upgraded or replaced to tackle new challenges arising. Today’s reality is, the fast changing digital environment, requires a faster, almost continuously adapting ‘toolkit of knowledge’. There are certain attributes that will ensure you always come out on top.

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10 skills of a successful CMO

1. Intentional Learner

Go out of your way to continuously acquire new information and data which can help you spot areas for improvement. Campaign analytics and competitive analysis are a perfect place to start evaluating personal strengths and weaknesses


2. Open Minded

Just because somethings ‘not broken’ doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. With new technologies arising faster than we can realize, it’s important to always try and find a better way. Learning to adapt and grow is the only way to ensure staying ahead.


3. Optimizer

Like professional athletes, leaders know there is always room for improvements to reach optimal performance. Strive for improvements every single day in your personal and professional life. By continuously optimizing, you can empower yourself and the people around you to become more effective.


4. Data Driven

Always creating, testing, and validating new hypothesis. Understanding the science behind digital marketing and testing out new methods is essential for innovation.


5. Curiosity

The more questions you ask, the more you’re prepared to make the right decision.  When you stay curious and start asking the right questions, you are increasing your probability of finding the right answers, the ones that make you grow.


6. Optimism

Embrace all your challenges through a positive lens. Positivity is contagious, so start spreading it. When something does go wrong, stay optimistic. Every failure is a new opportunity to learn, a new experience that will make you stronger and an experience that gives you fresh perspective. Don’t duel on the past, it’s like tripping on something already behind you. 


7. Transparency

Successful 21st century firms prove the best decisions are taken collectively. Make all the tools and information available to enable everyone to play an integrate role in the decision making process. Give members the support they need to do their job and reach their goals for a long term mutually beneficial relationship.


8. Flexibility

Keep your plans flexible. Each day could bring a new opportunity that could jolt you in an entirely new direction. These can enable new pathways to reaching our goals quicker and more effectively. Be open, and take a leap at new opportunities that arise.


9. Commitment to Vision

Devote to your vision, and stick to it in sickness and in health. H.L. Hunt sets out the straightforward requirements for success. First, decide what you want. Second, decide what you are willing to pay for it. Third, resolve to pay that price.


10. Passion

‘You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.’ – Steve Jobs


To successfully fill the role of digital CMO, be a steward of teamwork, a pioneer of thought, and the leader of a vision.



Translated by: Jessica Bubenheim 
Infographic: Paula Mock

Digital marketing checklist

Tags: Online Marketing & Digital Marketing

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