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      The Ultimate Marketing Leadership Guide: How Marketing Leaders Contribute to C-Suite Success

      Top Executive Recruiter Ash Wendt

      By Executive Recruiter Ash Wendt — Top Marketing & Sales Executive Recruiter Ash Wendt has deep experience and unmatched expertise in sourcing extraordinary talent for C-suite roles centered on sales, marketing, operations, and finance. As a founding partner of Cowen Partners, Ash Wendt is also a pioneering thought leader frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal and other prominent journals.


      Marketing leaders can play a vital role in any C-suite, innovating and managing essential strategies while overseeing critical decisions, motivating teams, and achieving the best possible results and ROIs from a company’s marketing efforts.

      In fact, companies with the right marketing leaders in the right roles can establish themselves as thought leaders all while maximizing brand awareness, engaging more potential customers, and achieving next-level growth.

      That’s true for businesses across several industries, and it can transform everything from marketing messaging, strategies, and campaigns to team performance, retention, motivation, and more.

      Highlighting how to maximize marketing success in organizations and industries across the board, this guide on marketing leadership provides a deep dive into the following topics (simply click on a title or phrase to jump to any section).

      Marketing Leader Roles

      Marketing leadership and teams don’t look the same at every company, with nuanced roles and responsibilities usually arising as businesses take shape and evolve, regardless of industry or company size. Nevertheless, there are some cornerstone positions, particularly at the marketing leadership level, that can drive real, measurable successes for various marketing departments and initiatives.

      The following shares a general look at key marketing leaders, what they do, and how crucial they can be.

      Keep in mind that some C-suites may start out with these roles while others choose to establish them later.

      Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs)

      CMOs have been at the forefront of marketing innovations, redefining customer experiences while paving new territory that embraces technology, data, traditional marketing skills, and so much more. As collaborative leaders who bridge the gap between marketing and sales, CMOs can be responsible for launching new initiatives, entering new markets, improving customer retention, and optimizing the customer experience.

      Consequently, chief marketing officers tend to wear many hats, work with various teams, and have several areas of focus, including (but not limited to):

      • Pricing
      • Brand marketing (print, online, and otherwise)
      • Advertisement
      • Marketing communications
      • Market research
      • Public relations

      Modern Marketing Leaders

      Today’s marketing leaders are at the forefront of novel customer experiences and better marketing messages that can humanize brands, keep them top of mind, and create a growing base of loyal customers.

      From technology to the economy, world events, and more, modern marketing leaders are agile experts who are able to leverage trends, resources, and issues of the moment to create more exciting and far more successful marketing campaigns and plans.

      Notably, more than 4 in 5 CEOs today say that they rely on their marketing leaders to accomplish their companies’ growth agendas. Here’s how modern CMOs and other marketing leaders are doing just that to move the needle, break new ground, and put companies in the spotlight.

      Marketing Leader Titles & Skills

      CMOs and Directors of Marketing are often at the helm of marketing leadership, devising, overseeing, and analyzing company-wide marketing operations. Beyond those leaders, however, there can be a number of other upper-level positions in marketing departments, all requiring specific skillsets and expertise to fulfill distinct responsibilities while working towards shared objectives.

      From marketing managers and coordinators to marketing analysts, marketing executive consultants, and beyond, here are some of the marketing leadership titles and skills that can truly set companies and the customer experiences they provide apart from the competition.

      Marketing Leader Salaries

      Marketing leaders usually command competitive salaries and compensation packages, and those may include base compensation, bonuses, benefits, stock options, and/or other forms of compensation. While specific salaries and offers associated with a given marketing leadership role can vary by individual experience, other factors that can impact this compensation include:

      • Geographic location
      • Industry
      • Company size
      • Many other factors

      Generally, however, marketing leader salaries tend to average out to the totals shown in the table below (and please note that these marketing leader salaries reflect the latest available data for 2023).

      Marketing Leader RoleMarketing Leader Salary
      (on average)
      Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)$250,000
      Director of Marketing$168,000
      Director of Product Marketing$170,000
      Director of Brand Marketing$161,000
      Marketing Promotions Manager$118,000
      Marketing Manager$91,000

      Marketing Leadership Recruiting

      Recruiting exceptional marketing leaders takes a deep understanding of marketing executive roles, as well as a company’s short- and long-term growth objectives. Beyond that, hiring professionals who are searching for top candidates will need to focus on:

      • Screening talent for specific skills and experience
      • Evaluating candidates’ past marketing experience
      • Assessing marketing leaders’ personalities for company culture fit

      Regardless of what type of marketing leader a company is looking to bring on, taking the time to find and hire the best leaders can minimize future turnover while motivating teams, securing more wins, connecting with more customers, and achieving greater growth than ever before.

      Marketing Leadership Strategies

      Outpacing the competition, dominating markets, and achieving mind-blowing success will not happen without a plan or the right strategies to execute that plan. No matter how new or small a company may be — and regardless of an organization’s structure and C-suite composition — smart marketing leadership strategies can be integral to launching and amplifying brands, connecting with more customers, and maximizing ROIs.

      Marketing Leadership & Demand Generation

      Aligning marketing and sales teams, demand generation can be an essential component of big-picture marketing plans and long-term sales goals. Focused on optimizing customer experiences at every touchpoint, demand gen can harmonize lead gen and inbound marketing while optimizing all touchpoints in the customer experience, improving lead conversion rates, and setting marketing strategies and plans up for better results. Consequently, demand generation is often a key area of focus (and specialty) for marketing leaders across the board.

      Marketing Leadership Insights for CEOs

      CEOs with an eye to level up growth, brand awareness, and a company’s competitive edge can leverage all sorts of marketing strategies and resources, from talent assessments and collaborative tools to cutting-edge recruiting tactics, new marketing leadership, outside marketing consultants, and more.

      Whether CEOs are delving into unchartered territory or advancing current campaigns and efforts, they can make more prudent decisions about their marketing leaders, operations, and objectives with the right insights, guidance, and knowledge, a taste of which is featured below.

      Growth Marketing Strategy & Insights for Marketing Leaders

      Growth marketing can accelerate and fuel the success of modern businesses by leveraging marketing, data analytics, and product development to acquire new customers while optimizing the customer experience and lifecycle.

      Focused on scalability, agility, and competitive advantages, growth marketing for modern marketing leaders can truly align marketing and product development teams to activate as many opportunities as possible for generating revenue, crystallizing customer loyalty, and tapping new prospects for growth and better ROIs. Often, Chief Growth Officers (CGOs) are at the forefront of these efforts in modern C-suites. Still, CGOs aren’t necessarily the only marketing leaders to launch and amplify these efforts.

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