14 Chief Marketing Officer Skills You Need

Marketing has changed rapidly in just the past year. That said, marketing has always been an ever-changing field, and a good Chief Marketing Officer or CMO should know how to adapt to it. In some cases, the strategies of these marketing professionals have been the make or break difference between why companies do and don’t succeed.

Below, we’ll cover 14 skills we believe are essential for any marketing professional, especially for CMOs.

Casey Stanton - Fractional CMO

Casey Stanton
Fractional CMO & CMOx Founder

Casey S. Stanton is a marketing strategy expert and founder of CMO Exponential (CMOx), the Fractional CMO company. For over 10 years Casey has been leading marketing strategy for 7 and 8 figure businesses in both digital and brick-and-mortar markets. 

Read Casey’s Full Bio Here.

Skills a Chief Marketing Officer Should Have

Leadership

As a CMO, leadership is essential to your position. You provide the organization and motivation needed to ensure your team and marketing efforts stay on task. A good leader leads by example, so being a reliable source of information and expertise is also vital for the success of your team.

Data Analysis

Your marketing efforts should bring in key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll need to decipher. Understanding this data is essential for the success of your strategies, and you’ll need to be able to draw the right conclusions from the data.

Market Analysis

In addition to being adept with data analysis, a good CMO has a solid understanding of their market. If you don’t know your target market, your strategies will never work well, which is why it’s essential for any CMO to do their research. You’ll need to know your consumer’s needs to best connect with them, and you’ll need to know their preferences, so you may best interact with them. These factors are essential for developing strategies that work.

Strategizing

Understanding your data goes a long way in supporting your strategies. You’ll use your data to develop your strategy and support your other marketing efforts like social media and sales.

Being one of the core skills every CMO needs, you should have the ability to conceptualize and implement effective marketing strategies for your business. You or your company’s CMO should have the skills necessary to take data and develop strategies that prioritize and target your KPIs.

Creativity

Even if you have the data insights to create marketing strategies, you’ll still need the ideas to get them off the ground. Creativity is a core skill all marketers need to have because it distinguishes your marketing efforts in an oversaturated market. A creative marketing strategy is also more likely to grab the attention of your final consumer, which is the goal.

Teamwork

A lot goes into marketing, and now more than ever, there are aspects outside of your department that influence your business’ effectiveness. It’s important to be a team player and work well with others across your organization and within your own team.

Communication

Effective communication skills are essential for every aspect of being a successful marketer. This works two-fold: first, you need to be able to reach your audience, and that comes with understanding the best ways to communicate with them. Second, you need to communicate your goals, strategies, and ideas to your team; without that, the effectiveness of your marketing efforts may become segmented or not as effective.

Learning

Marketing is an ever-changing field, which means you’ll have to be up to the challenge to stay ahead of the curve. Part of being an effective CMO is adapting to this changing environment, learning what you can from others in the field, and passing along this information to your team.

Humility

Humility is a good trait to have in any profession, especially in marketing. Marketing is a constantly changing landscape, and when things change, it’s ok not to have the answer right away. As a good marketing leader, it’s a good practice to admit when you don’t know something and actively learn from your team when possible.

Technical

Now more than ever, a good CMO needs to have a solid grasp of technology and how it affects their marketing efforts. Social media and other technological needs are essential to many of today’s best marketing strategies, and it’s a great way to reach your audience.

Perseverance

Inevitably, there will be challenges that affect your marketing efforts. It’s important to be ready for the changing landscapes and preferences of your consumers. One of the major takeaways of the current global pandemic is that conditions and circumstances can change at a moment’s notice. It has shown us that your strategy must reflect the needs of the end consumer, so regardless if sales or interactions are down, you must be able to rise to the challenge and adapt.

Organizational

Needless to say, organization is key for any role, especially a CMO. As a leader, you’re directly responsible for the effectiveness of your team or department, so you need a solid grasp on where things are, where they’re going, and where they should be. This involves organizing everything from your day to your data collection.

Agility

As a CMO, you need to be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice. In the highly digital landscape a lot of marketing takes place in, a good marketing strategy can be manipulated and altered to the needs of your consumer. As your consumer’s needs change, you’ll be able to keep them in your marketing effort’s sights.

Storytelling

At the end of the day, marketers are storytellers. CMOs and their teams develop narratives to their products or services to relate to their end consumer. Storytelling is often considered the “why” to marketing, and ultimately it may be the deciding factor to why someone does or doesn’t buy your product. For that reason, being a good storyteller is essential for any marketing role, including the CMO, since their leadership and strategy guide the rest of the team.

Summary of Chief Marketing Officer Skills

Being a CMO is a comprehensive position with a lot of responsibilities and moving parts. The skills we’ve covered will help you in being a more effective CMO. Ultimately, your biggest takeaway is that all CMOs should practice humility in the ever-changing world we call marketing. Things change rapidly, and the strategies that worked yesterday may not work today, so we can’t stress the importance of being flexible enough.

If you want to learn more about how a fractional CMO at CMOx can help your business, contact us today for a free consultation at (219) 804-0797 or fill out a contact request form here.