What Does a Chief Marketing Officer Do? (With Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 30, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Chief marketing officers (CMOs) are high-level executives that are integral to the growth of a company. Chief marketing officers perform a vast range of tasks in the company, but their primary objective is to improve sales. Learning more about the job description of a chief marketing officer can help you decide whether you want to pursue this role. In this article, we explain the answer to "what does a chief marketing officer do?", discuss the qualifications and skills that a marketing officer needs, and provide the average salary of CMOs.

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What does a chief marketing officer do?

Understanding the answer to "what does a chief marketing officer do?" can help you develop relevant skills to excel in the role. Chief marketing officers, also known as CMOs, are C-level executives in a company. The "C" title stands for "chief" and these executives occupy leadership roles in the company. They're in charge of maintaining and improving the sales of a company. The chief marketing officer is the head of the marketing department in a company.

In collaboration with other members of the marketing team, this officer develops marketing plans and policies that improve the company's brand image. The main priority of this C-level executive is to generate leads and promote the company's products. The chief marketing officer reports to the chief executive officer (CEO).

What responsibilities does a chief marketing officer have?

Some responsibilities of a chief marketing officer include:

Managing products

Chief marketing officers may not be responsible for the overall management of the company's products, but they have significant roles. These executives have information on customer preference and sales statistics. They can use this information to conduct feasibility studies on how well certain products may perform in the market. They also understand customer needs and can recommend improvements or additions to the company's products. Additionally, they're responsible for marketing new products created by the product management team.

Related: Top Product Management Skills

Managing the brand image of the company

Chief marketing officers protect the company's vision and strategy. The chief marketing officer is responsible for increasing awareness of the company's brand among consumers. They work with the public relations team to develop strategies that encourage customer interaction with the brand. They also ensure that the company's marketing strategies and product development align with its standards and brand image. They organize regular training sessions to educate employees and team members on ways to improve the company's brand image.

Improving the marketing plan

Chief marketing officers head the marketing department of a company. The main priority of the chief marketing officer is to promote products, so they create strategies that achieve this goal. They're responsible for developing good long-term marketing plans for the company. CMOs monitor the company's sales statistics and use this to improve the company's marketing strategies. They also analyze market trends to ensure that the company adopts relevant market plans.

These executives may also review the current marketing strategy and make improvements as necessary. They may also work with other departments, such as the advertising department, to improve the company's growth.

Leading marketing activities

Chief marketing officers may not directly engage in the marketing activities of the company but they can coordinate them. These executives have an in-depth understanding of various marketing functions and activities, and they use this knowledge to improve the company. They're also responsible for deciding and using the best marketing communication tool that they can use to reach the company's target audience. They may also encourage the use of social media to promote the company's products and improve brand awareness.

Coordinating the distribution channels

Chief marketing officers manage the distribution channels of the company. Chief marketing officers can do this by analyzing the behaviours of the consumers to understand the best way to supply products. They determine the objectives of the current distribution system. Chief marketing officers can create a suitable distribution system and assign tasks to team members according to how well they can improve it. Lastly, they analyze, review, and improve the distribution system of the company.

Researching market data

To ensure that the company remains relevant, the chief marketing officer conducts regular research on market data and consumer trends in the industry. They constantly update themselves on the strategies of the company's competitors. They also ensure that the marketing strategies reflect customer trends. These officers use market data to test the viability of new products the company releases. They also use market data to determine the production level of some other products of the company. Chief marketing officers may write reports based on their extensive market research study and present them to the CEO.

Training the marketing team

The chief marketing officer works with the HR team to interview, hire, and promote members of the marketing team. The chief marketing officer also organizes onboarding sessions to educate new members on team strategy and policy. They also organize periodic training sessions to inform members of new marketing policies. These executives listen to their team members and approve the ideas that they recommend. They ensure that all members of the team collectively contribute to the achievement of team objectives.

Related: Top 10 Skills of a Marketing Manager

Monitoring KPIs

KPIs are key performance indicators that measure and show how effective the company is in achieving its business objectives. Chief marketing officers set goals for the marketing team and can measure the team's progress by monitoring its KPIs. The chief marketing officer typically uses individualized metrics to measure progress and develop goals in the KPIs.

Asides from team management, the chief marketing officer may also use KPIs to monitor sales and company growth. One KPI that the chief marketing officer can use to measure company progress is the number of leads that the company has. Leads are potential customers that have shown interest in the brand. The more leads a company has, the more its overall growth increases. Chief marketing officers monitor such KPIs and use this to develop policies that improve the company.
Related: How to Define and Measure a Key Performance Indicator

Qualifications for chief marketing officers

Here are some qualifications that a chief marketing officer may need:


Most chief marketing officers have a bachelor's degree in a business-related field. Employers also consider candidates with degrees in communications, advertising, and other related fields. A master's degree in a business-related field may be beneficial to your role as a chief marketing officer and it can give your application an advantage.


It's important that CMOs have experience in a marketing or advertising role. This can ensure that they understand enough about what this role requires and can work with a team. Most employers prefer candidates with at least eight years of experience in such positions. They may also require that candidates have an additional three to five years of leadership experience.


As a marketing officer, it may be beneficial to have certifications that show your competence in the role. A certification that demonstrates your social media marketing and advertising skills can show hiring managers that you are an ideal candidate. Certifications like the Certified Marketing Professional (CMKP), provided by the Canadian College for Leadership and Management (CCLM) may be beneficial to your resume.

Average salary of the chief marketing officer

The national average salary of chief marketing officers is $88,654 per year. Your experience, skills, and academic history may determine your salary. The location and size of the company may also determine how much you can earn. Some businesses choose to offer bonuses and employee benefits, which can also contribute to your total salary.

What skills are necessary for chief marketing officers?

Here are some skills that are necessary for chief marketing officers:

  • Leadership skills: Chief marketing officers understand company objectives and work with the marketing team to meet these goals. They also train staff and direct them on implementing marketing strategies.

  • Creativity: A good CMO is flexible enough to adjust the marketing strategy to fit the constantly evolving trends in the industry. The chief marketing officer can develop innovative strategies to ensure that the company's brand stands out among its competitors.

  • Technical skills: It's important that chief marketing officers use certain tools that can help monitor and implement market strategies. Some tools that chief marketing officers may need include CRM tools, social media, and SEO marketing tools.

  • Planning skills: It's necessary for the chief marketing officer to have long-term goals and objectives for the marketing team. These goals help guide the decision-making and the marketing plan of the company.

  • Communication skills: Chief marketing officers have good communication skills that help them effectively communicate with customers through various advertising campaigns. They can also communicate their ideas and expectations with the marketing team.

  • Market insight: It's important for the CMO to have an in-depth understanding of market trends and how it affects customer behaviour. CMOS can also adopt these findings into the company's marketing strategies.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data list on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salary may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.

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