The CMO tenure is an average of just 43 months but tends to run longer for traditional business categories like financial and travel, according to Winmo’s CMO Lifecycle Report. Tracking the life cycle of the CEO and CMO positions will allow media sellers and other professionals to anticipate needs and pitch accordingly.
Winmo released its annual report for 2018 and suggests that agencies pay close attention to when a new marketing chief joins a company. The majority of agency reviews take place between six and 18 months after the appointment of a CMO, making this a critical time to make a good impression.
More CMOs rotate up and out of positions between 30 and 45 months, Winmo reports, calling it the “sweet spot.” As marketers approach that three-year anniversary, media sellers and other business professionals should keep an eye out for potential moves in the C-Suite.
“CMOs spend less time in their roles than Chief Executives do, meaning that marketing decision-makers have to move the needle faster and earlier than their C-suite counterparts do,” the report states.
Once CMO’s tenure reaches three years, sellers should look for the next-most senior marketers within the organization and start outreach, Winmo advises.
“There’s a good chance one of them might be the next CMO or have strong influences on anyone incoming to that role.”
The 2018 CMO Lifecycle Trends Report includes gender for the first time. Female marketing chiefs tend to leave earlier than their male counterparts, the report observed. CMO roles held by women average 37.5 months compared to 42.8 for men. Although there are slightly more men than women in the CMO position (58.4 percent vs. 41.6 percent), this role represents the most gender parity in the C-Suite. This is especially true for businesses that operate solely online.
How long a marketing chief remains in his/her position appears relative to the industry. Insurance brands have a longer average CMO tenure of 48 months, the report noted, and quick service restaurants (QSR) average 38 months.
Digital business providers like Amazon and Tinder represent a new category in Winmo’s data. This industry skews younger and more modern and high turnover is common. That being said, the average tenure of a digital business provider CMO is just 29 months, well below the overall average tenure.