CMOs Starting To Stay Put


A recent Advertising Age article is now touting the longevity of CMOs, pointing out the average tenure is now around 45 months. It wasn’t that long ago when that tenure was just under two years. I can’t help but think this is good news for brands and good news for agencies.

According to executive search firm Spencer Stuart, the financial services segment has an average tenure of 54 months for its CMOs, consumer brands and retail/apparel brands 47 months on down to health care at 28 months.

This is good news for the brands because the CMO is now staying in one place long enough to make a difference, to implement longer-term plans and build an internal staff for the long haul. Possibly, as the article hints, the relationship between the CMO and the other C-Suite partners has improved greatly — with CMOs gaining more respect and a seat at the C-Suite table that wasn’t open before.

It’s also good news for the agencies working on the brand. They have more time now to build a stronger relationship with the CMO and prove their worth in building the brand, helping the company market its products and tell the brand story both internally and externally.

The article cites several reasons for this growing longevity: “The Recession,” a still-shaky economy, plus the increased complexity of the job from digital, social, content, mobile and data has made CMOs more fulfilled, challenged and respected. “For instance, technology is transforming the way people engage with companies and brands. As a result, many CMOs are now working together with technology chiefs to not only transform how companies engage customers, but how they evolve their business models.”

As one marketer of a major soft drink brand stated, “Building strong brands requires more consistency.” And I presume she means the CMO role in addition to brand communications.

Overall, I think this is a positive trend. I always get a little suspicious when reviewing resumes that show 3 different employers over a 4-5 year period. But then that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?


Image: Flickr, Wild Guru Larry

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