The marketing industry is steadily going digital, resulting in an increased burden of duties and responsibilities for CMOs. Not only is the focus of the industry shifting towards customers, but the processes are now becoming data-intensive and data-driven. CMOs, thus, are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring a smooth digital transformation while attempting to meet ever-growing consumer expectations and demands.
In light of this, Winmo conducted a study titled the CMO Lifecycle Report, in which they analyzed over 1400 CMO tenures across more than 1100 companies from various industries including CPG, financial services, restaurants, and retail.
Several findings of the study are interesting, including:
- The average term for a CMO is 43 months, which is less than half of that of a CEO, averaging 7.2 years.
- According to the study, CMOs are more likely to move up and out of positions between 30 and 45 months of onboarding.
- Across industries and segments, categories such as financial services and travel have longer CMO tenures, with an average of 48 months. Newer segments like digital business providers have average CMO tenures of 29 months.
- Women represent about 42% of CMOs studied, compared to 12% of CFOs, 9% of CIOs and a mere 4% of CEOs. Female CMO tenure is 37.5 months, while male CMO tenure is 42.8 months. Gender parity was highest in digital business providers.
“This report provides a level of granularity that’s never been covered for CMO tenures,” said Jennifer Groese, Winmo’s Vice President of Marketing. “Not all CMOs are the same, and this analysis sheds light on how marketing executives across different industries and of different genders typically rotate up and out of their current roles.”
“We’ve found the sweet spot for engaging with CMOs is soon after they’ve started a new role, within three to twelve months,” reports Winmo. “This means any agency trying to win over a new client by way of its CMO should be aware of how long the marketing lead has been in their position. Look for the next-most senior marketers within the organization and start your outreach. There’s a good chance one of them might be the next CMO or have strong influences on anyone incoming to that role.”
Earlier this year in May, the Peterson Institute for International Economics completed a survey of 21,980 firms from 91 countries and found that having women at the C-Suite level significantly increases net margins.
“A profitable firm at which 30 percent of leaders are women could expect to add more than 1 percentage point to its net margin compared with an otherwise similar firm with no female leaders,” the report notes. “By way of comparison, the typical profitable firm in our sample had a net profit margin of 6.4 percent, so a 1 percentage point increase represents a 15 percent boost to profitability.”
Joe Carella, the Assistant Dean at the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management, has found that diverse companies become more creative. He told CNBC, “We did our own analysis of Fortune 500 companies and we found that companies that have women in top management roles experience what we call ‘innovation intensity’ and produce more patents — by an average of 20 percent more than teams with male leaders.”
In 2017, 2 of the Top 5 CMOs in the world were women. This year, however, more than half (26) of this year’s 50 most influential CMOs are women. Clearly, there is for a reason. As the role of a CMO in today’s world is growing more diverse, it is combining a wide range of tasks, both strategic and managerial in nature. As the modern marketing world keeps on evolving, these statistics give us hope that the marketing industry will continue to grow more diverse and pave the way for women to hold more C-level positions in some of the world’s top companies.