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At 44 months, the average CMO tenure is one of the shortest in the C-suite, according to a report this year from consulting firm Spencer Stuart.
On the retail side, data from our recent survey of 100 marketing decision-makers showed that ecommerce companies averaged two CMOs over five years. The survey also revealed that 42% of marketing executives plan to interview for jobs at other companies within six months.
When scoping out a new marketing leadership role, our survey respondents rated the following negotiating factors:
It’s not so surprising that long-term comp and annual bonus top the list (though “Working remotely/from home” seemed a bit out of place for an influential C-level role). But while these are all necessary factors for negotiating a new job, they don’t directly address the “CMO tenure” problem.
The main reason CMOs are job hunting in the first place, according to our survey, is that they’re increasingly expected to drive sales and be more accountable for ROI (return on investment) while being hamstrung by organizational challenges and lack of control.
Too often, CMOs are given broad objectives but narrow authority, and then must use their “influence” to achieve lofty revenue goals. When influence isn’t enough and CMOs fall short, they feel like they’ve been set up to fail.
Related post: Research Confirms Retail CMOs Are in a Tough Position
So in addition to the job factors mentioned above, CMOs interviewing for new positions should set expectations from the start and ask the CEO point blank: “Will I be responsible for company-wide P&L or play more of a strategy-focused role?”
And before accepting a new role, CMOs should find out whether the previous CMOs were given the authority needed to drive growth and improve ROI. If they were not, there should be strong signals that it’s going to be different this time around.