Why Are CMOs Getting Fired?


    Being a Chief Marketing Officer is a challenging job in today’s competitive world. CMOs have one of the lowest serving tenures in the entire C-suite. Why?

    According to a recent report by Statista, the average tenure of a CMO in the USA in 2021 dropped down to 40 months from 41.1 months in 2019. Marketing leaders play a crucial role in penetrating a new target audience with ease, yet are one of the most volatile jobs in the industry. For a few CEOs, while laying off resources, CMOs are one of the first job profiles that come to their mind while firing.

    Here are a few reasons why the CMOs’ roles fail and get fired more often compared to the other jobs in the C-suite:

    Undefined responsibilities

    Many enterprises do not have clearly defined roles for their chief marketing officers, which makes it difficult for them to determine their KPIs to achieve.

    Every organization will have different expectations from its marketing leader. Organizations that fail to set clear expectations with their CMOs will have gaps in the organizations’ goals and marketing operations that help them to achieve those goals. CMOs that do not align their marketing operations with the organization’s short-term and long-term goals will not be able to deliver the desired results.

    New CMOs usually have immense enthusiasm to accomplish the impossible. However, this approach burns out faster because they need to achieve others rather than what is expected from them. A few organizations hire experienced CMOs who join the new enterprise with a preconceived idea of what CMO means. These preconceived notions might not go well with the organization’s needs. Hence, setting clear expectations with the CMO will help them to adapt to business needs and grow with them effectively. Sharing an in-depth job description while attracting, hiring, and recruiting resources for a CMOs role enables organizations to have transparency from the start.

    Also Read: Why CMOs Misconstrue Content Marketing

    Gaps in budget and time allocation

    Most marketing teams lack the visibility that they require to efficiently accomplish their tasks. Moreover, they also do have enough resources or tools in the MarTech stack that enable them to stand out from their competition. The majority of marketers focus more time on accomplishing daily organizational tasks rather than focusing on the main purpose of the presales teams to bridge the gap between the products and the total addressable market. One-size-fits-all applications have become obsolete with the current market landscape; however, many CMOs have the budget constraints to integrate robust tools in the market. It is crucial for the marketing teams to have cross-functional teams to seamlessly execute the presales operations to accomplish the business goals. One of the most significant reasons why CMOs fail and risk losing their jobs is that they leave gaps in their budget and time allocation of the resources and tools. Additionally, there is a possibility that the MarTech stack might be fragmented, and siloes in the marketing technology stack will result in poor results and hampered customer experience.

    Also Read: Effective Data Acquisition Strategies for CMOs in a Privacy-First World

    Implementing and monitoring wrong marketing KPIs

    Enterprises might have set certain operational KPIs implemented to track the performance of their chief marketing officers. However, it is crucial for businesses to set the right operational KPIs to monitor the efforts and effectiveness of the entire marketing operations and their spending in every channel. The biggest reason why most the CMOs fail and might lose their job is by not meeting the set KPIs for the role. Enterprises track crucial KPIs like customer acquisition cost, conversion rates, ROI of the marketing efforts, and others. CMOs that focus on irrelevant KPIs that do not help the business to grow will fail in delivering the expected results.

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