The Challenges of Being a CMO – Kimberly A. Whitler

kim-whitlerAssistant Professor Kimberly A. Whitler (@KimWhitler) recently released “The Trouble with CMOs” in Harvard Business Review. The article summarizes years of analysis on CMOs’ job descriptions, educations and how expectations rarely align to their actual job responsibilities.

80% of CEOs are unhappy with the CMO and 74% of CMOs say they could have a greater impact [Click to Tweet]

In this episode, Kim and I discuss some of the data in her article and feedback she has received following its release. Kim also shares her personal story of how she helped realign her CMO job once she realized the odds were against her success while running marketing. Kim discusses why the CMO role is perceived as the “walk on water” role and offers advice on how to rectify the situation.

I had been looking forward to this interview for months and am really happy to provide you with this episode. Please enjoy and engage in the discussion.

Questions During Episode

  • What has happened since the article was published?
  • Who would possibly not like the article on why the CMO job is so difficult?
  • 80% of CEOs are unhappy with the CMO and 74% of CMOs say they could have a greater impact. Why the mismatch?
  • Why is there a big disconnect between the expectations of the CMOs and their responsibilities?
  • How do we fix this? How long will it take?
  • How can we guide CEOs to design the job requirements correctly and get the right person for the job?
  • CMOs have the shortest average tenure at 4.1 years according to the Korn Ferry numbers in your report.
  • Is this because the CMO job is relatively new or that there is indeed higher turnover?
  • Why is the CMO role considered the “water walking job?”
  • Why do you believe the CMO job is so difficult?
  • You influenced the CMO redesign at one of your last jobs. How far into your job were you when you realized the problem?
  • How long did it take you to fix it?
  • What advice do you have for CMO candidates when finding their next role?

Links and Mentions

Contact Kim