Marketing Leadership

5 Signs You’ve Hired the Wrong CMO

5 Signs You Hired the Wrong CMO

Your company’s CMO is one of the most important hires you’ll ever make. A great CMO can elevate a company to it’s company brand to its highest potential. A bad CMO can drag your company down.  And yet CMO’s are one of the hardest roles to get right, as evidenced by the fact that have the highest turnover of any C-suite role.

A key to surviving is learning to identify when you’ve gotten wrong as quickly as possible, to minimize potential damage. So what should you be looking for? Here are our top 5 signs:

  1. A Lack of Forward Progress – There is a period where a new CMO hire is inefficient. He/she has to on-board; learn the company and the culture;  learn products or services, processes, procedures. But once they get to work in earnest there should be a great deal of activity and forward progress on the organization’s key initiatives. The key is a lot of items should be crossed off of the to-do list.  As Earnest Hemingway famously said, “Don’t mistake motion for action.”
  2. Too Much Time Spent on Tactics – Vision drives strategy. Strategy drives tactics. Tactics drive results. If your newly-minted CMO is spending all of their time on tactics and not enough time leading and directed the strategy of the organization, they’re likely to fail.
  3. A Lack of Mentoring and Staff Development – One of the most critical roles that a CMO plays is developing the marketing staff. This involves knowing, understanding, encouraging and mentoring managers to do the same for their subordinates. In this way, every link in the chain is strengthened and organization’s marketing, as a whole should be improved.
  4.  A Lack of Continuity with other Senior Leadership – To an extent you want your CMO to be different and challenging the norm. It should be part of their raison d’etre to be pushing the organization to think differently and become exceptional. But if your CMO can’t get on the same page with the board of directors and others in the C-suite, he/she probably isn’t going to make it. In order for an organization to survive and thrive everyone needs to be pulling their oars in the same direction at the same time.
  5. He/she Can’t Lean Far Enough Ahead – You don’t want your CMO thinking a step ahead of the competition, you want him/her at least two steps ahead. Focus shouldn’t be on “what’s next” you want them focussing on “what’s the next-next.” More-so than any other member of the C-Suite, the CMO has to be setting the vision and future for what the brand will become.  If your CMO can’t lean far enough forward to read the winds, someone else might steal the wind from your sales!

Does your CMO need to be mentored? Do you need to find a new CMO? YVCMO can help! Let’s talk!