14 CMO Roles and Responsibilities (With Explanations)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 September 2022

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 are vital assets to a company because they can boost sales, lead marketing campaigns and develop brand strategy. Their role can vary depending on the company's size, industry and needs. Knowing what the common roles of a CMO are can help you decide if the position is a good fit for you and can also help you succeed in this career if you decide to pursue it. In this article, we explain what a CMO is and list 14 common CMO roles and responsibilities.

What is a CMO?

A chief marketing officer (CMO) is a corporate executive responsible for marketing activities in an organisation. As the head of the marketing department, they usually report to the chief executive officer (CEO) and are frequently a member of the executive team. The primary focus of a CMO is to create and implement marketing strategies that can achieve the desired financial objectives of their company. This means they want to boost revenue by increasing sales through marketing efforts.

Related: What Is a Chief Marketing Officer? (With Average Salary)

14 CMO roles and responsibilities

These are 14 common CMO roles and responsibilities:

1. Director of marketing

The CMO is responsible for the direction of the marketing team. This involves setting the marketing strategy and making sure it aligns with the company's overall business objectives. The CMO is also responsible for managing the marketing budget and ensuring that all marketing activities are within the budget. The CMO is the senior-ranking marketing executive in a firm and therefore makes judgments that influence the company's overall marketing efforts.

The responsibilities of marketing can vary depending on the firm they work for. For example, if a CMO works for a small company, they may be responsible for all marketing activities. If a CMO works for a large company, they may have a team of marketing managers who report to them. In this case, their responsibilities are more strategic in nature and they're likely responsible for setting the marketing direction for the company.

Related: 3 Manager Types (Plus Required Skills, Roles and Key Duties)

2. Brand manager

The CMO is responsible for managing and developing the company's brand. This includes ensuring that the brand is consistent across all marketing channels and touchpoints. The CMO is also responsible for creating new marketing campaigns and initiatives that support the brand. This includes monitoring the performance of the brand and making recommendations for improvement.

They can establish a company's brand by developing the logo, demonstrating the company's value through storytelling and promoting the brand on social media. Depending on the company they work for, there might be a separate team of managers who report to the CMO that are responsible for executing the brand strategy.

Related: 35 Campaign Manager Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

3. C-suite executive

The CMO is a member of the C-suite, which is a group of senior-level executives who report directly to the CEO. As a C-suite executive, the CMO is present when company leaders make important decisions about the direction of the organisation. The CMO is also responsible for communicating the company's marketing strategy to the C-suite and ensuring that they're in agreement with the plan. This includes presenting the marketing budget to the C-suite for approval and getting sign-off on major marketing initiatives.

Related: What Is C-suite and How Do You Get There?

4. Innovation catalyst

The CMO drives innovation within the company. This means they're always looking for new and better ways to market the company's products and services. They're also responsible for leading the charge on new initiatives and campaigns. This includes developing new ideas, testing them out and then rolling them out to the rest of the company.

The CMO looks for ways to improve the company's marketing efforts and make them more effective. To boost innovation, they can encourage creativity within the marketing team by giving them the freedom to experiment. They can also create an environment that's conducive to innovation by being open to new ideas. Learning about industry trends is important for the CMO so they can identify new opportunities for the company.

5. Negotiator

They're sometimes responsible for negotiating contracts with vendors and suppliers. This involves negotiating the price of goods and services, including the terms of the agreement. The CMO is responsible for ensuring that the contract is advantageous for the company.

They're also sometimes responsible for negotiating contracts with media outlets for advertising space. This includes negotiating the price of the ad space and the terms of the agreement. The CMO focuses on ensuring that the contract is advantageous for the company.

Related: 10 Managerial Roles (Plus Their Definitions and Importance)

6. Coordinator

The CMO is responsible for coordinating the activities of the marketing team. This involves delegating tasks to team members and developing schedules and deadlines for projects. The CMO is also responsible for ensuring that the marketing team is able to meet its objectives. This includes conducting regular meetings with team members to provide updates on progress and give feedback. They ensure that the marketing team has the resources necessary to be successful and that team members are accountable for their results.

7. Growth driver

A CMO drives growth within the company, meaning they look for new ways to increase profits, boost sales and grow the business. This includes developing new marketing campaigns and initiatives that support the company's growth goals. The CMO is also responsible for monitoring the performance of the company and its marketing efforts, so they can make recommendations for improvement based on their findings.

They want to increase the company's growth and improve its bottom line. This can include new marketing efforts that highlight the company's products, expand the target audience or develop new sales strategies. The CMO usually works closely with the CEO to develop a growth strategy for the company and then implement it through the marketing team.

8. Budget manager

The CMO is responsible for managing the marketing budget by developing the budget, ensuring that it's adequate for the company's needs and then consistently monitoring expenditures. This includes reviewing invoices and expenses to ensure that they're accurate and in accordance with the financial limits.

They identify areas where the company can save money, such as by negotiating better deals with vendors. The CMO also works with the finance team to ensure that the marketing budget aligns with the company's overall financial objectives.

9. Data analyst

The CMO is responsible for analysing data to identify trends and insights that they can use to improve the company's marketing efforts. This includes analysing customer data to understand their needs and preferences. It also includes analysing sales data to identify patterns and trends. The CMO uses this data to develop marketing strategies that are more effective and efficient. They also use data to track the performance of marketing campaigns and initiatives so they can adjust them as needed.

10. Collaborator

The CMO is responsible for collaborating with other departments within the company to ensure that the marketing efforts align with the company's overall objectives. This includes working with the sales team to develop strategies that can increase sales. It also includes working with the product development team to ensure that new products launch successfully. The CMO is also responsible for collaborating with the CEO and other senior leaders to develop the company's overall growth strategy.

11. Representative

The CMO represents the company at events, conferences and trade shows. This includes giving speeches and presentations, participating in panel discussions and networking with other industry professionals. The CMO is also the one who represents the company to the media. This includes giving interviews, writing articles and appearing on TV or radio. Their primary focus is to ensure that the public has a positive opinion of the company at all times.

12. Leader

The CMO is the executive responsible for leading the marketing team and influencing the culture of the department. This includes setting goals and objectives for the team, developing strategies for achieving those goals and then leading by example. The CMO also provides mentorship and guidance to team members, helping them to develop their skills and knowledge. They create a positive and motivating environment that encourages team members to do their best work.

Related: What Is an Executive? (With Salaries and Job Duties)

13. Head of social media

The CMO acts as a social media manager by developing and implementing the company's social media strategy. This includes creating and managing social media accounts, posting content, engaging with followers and measuring results.

They use social media to promote the company's products and services, build brand awareness and generate leads. They also use it to connect with customers and understand their needs. For example, they may monitor it for customer service issues and then work with the customer service team to resolve them.

Read more: 36 Social Media Manager Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

14. Project manager

CMOs also manage marketing projects from start to finish. This includes developing the project plan, assigning tasks to team members, monitoring progress and ensuring that the project stays on track. They're also responsible for managing the budget for marketing projects. This includes making sure that they take all costs into account and that the project doesn't exceed the allotted budget. When managing these projects, it's important that they can effectively communicate with all team members and stakeholders.

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