The 5 Stereotypical CMOs

Chief marketing officers guide the advertising, brand management and market research for a company. They set the marketing tone within an organization, which could make or break a brand. 

All CMOs are different. However, when Digiday spoke to 10 marketing executives to find the archetypes of the modern CMO, several character types emerged from these interviews. Which type do you work for?

The Dinosaur
This man — and it’s always a man — is stuck in his ways. Sure, he knows about the Internet, but a few years ago, he was still having his assistant print out his email. For The Dinosaur CMO, not much has changed. He makes a few attempts to appear hip, only to expose how out of touch he is. That’s why he talks about “the dot-com” and the “eMarketing division.” Twitter to him is a place where people talk about what they had for lunch. Don’t be the Dinosaur CMO.


The Celebrity
This CMO has his own PR guy and is highly quotable. He’s the one having his assistant call all the trade pubs to book him speaking gigs. He seeks the limelight at every opportunity. Decisions are made based on the PR value instead of marketing effectiveness, and he never gives credit when credit is due.

The Zuckerbee
Think Mark Zuckerberg. This CMO is digitally savvy. He’s always got the latest tech gadget and is overly active on every social network except LinkedIn. He discounts opinions from anyone over the age of 40. He doesn’t own a tie and wears colored socks. On a CMO-only panel, he’s usually the only one wearing sneakers.


The Politician
The Politician is overly diplomatic and never actually answers questions. Sometimes, this CMO flat out lies. It’s obvious his speaking gigs are scripted, but he does have the gift of gab and can talk his way out of any situation. His background is in PR.


The Stay-Out-Of-Home Mom
It’s the Sanberg effect. This type-A female is an Ivy Leaguer and an overachiever. She’s constantly fighting for respectability even though she’s already earned it. She breastfeeds her newborn in the office and never lets anyone work from home. Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer is her idol. 

Image via Shutterstock

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