Do You Have What It Takes To Be A CMO?

Successful chief marketing officers (CMO) share some traits that make them good at their jobs. If you have these four traits then you may have the right personality to work as a CMO. If you don't, then you will need some help improving the following traits.

Strong Communication Skills

CMOs need strong intrapersonal communication and public speaking skills. Experience with professional intrapersonal communication will make it easier for you to discuss ideas with employees and other managers. There are plenty of books that will help you develop better intrapersonal communication skills. 

Public speaking will come in handy when you need to present ideas to potential investors, clients, or your company's board. Many people find that public speaking presents a more difficult challenge. Some research shows that 74 percent of people suffer from speech anxiety. Facing that fear is one of the most important steps towards becoming a better speaker. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will get.

Understand Evolving Market Dynamics

Marketing professionals need to keep up with rapidly evolving trends. You'll need to know how you can use research and analysis to base your marketing campaigns on strong data. Without reliable information, your campaigns based on nothing more than guesswork.

It takes quite a bit of experience for many people to learn how they can understand evolving market dynamics. Enrolling in an online MBA program is one of the best ways to gain that experience. Busy professionals often find that they get better results from online classes that let them work full-time jobs while they learn new skills.


CMOs, like other managers, need excellent leadership skills. You'll need those skills to motivate employees and convince other business leaders to follow pursue your marketing ideas.

Some people are born leaders. They seem to naturally know how to motivate others. Most, however, have to practice leadership. There are many guides that will help you learn what skills make people better leaders. You can find them online and in print books. Since you need to find a leadership method that fits your personality, expect to spend some time trying a few techniques before you discover the right method for you.

If you feel stuck, talk to someone you trust and respect to learn more about how they developed good leadership skills. Try talking to a manager at work or a successful entrepreneur in your community.

Creative Thinking

CMOs need to balance their analytic skills with creativity. All people have some level of creativity, but you may need to boost your skills to become a successful CMO.

Experience is the best way to differentiate between good and bad marketing ideas. Sometimes, though, you may need help to get your creative juices flowing. Some tips for increased creativity include:

  • Taking a walk that gets you out of the office
  • Listening to music or ambient noise
  • Keeping a positive attitude about your work

Like other skills, creative thinking is something that you can learn. Give it some time and keep trying to make the most of your creative gifts.

Do you already have these skills, or do you think you need to work on them before taking your career to the next level?