Nearly half of CMOs don’t feel they’re paid enough, survey says

Being a marketer isn’t easy – not only do marketers have to create the right messages for the right audiences, targeting these audiences at the right time, but they also need to prove their work is benefiting their organizations.

So with all of the pressures that naturally come with the job, just 48 per cent of chief marketing officers (CMOs) feel they’re being paid fairly, according to a new report from the CMO Council, which is based in the U.S. and represents more than 7,000 marketers in 110 countries. Six hundred of those marketers are based in Canada. To build the report, researchers polled about 345 senior marketers from around the world.

For Kimberly Whitler, the author of the report, there could be two reasons as to why CMOs feel their salaries aren’t enough. One possibility is that CMOs really are unpaid, compared to the benchmarks listed in the report. Alternatively, any beliefs about their pay could be just that – beliefs.

“The people at the low end [of the salary ranges] feel the least respected,” said Whitler, an assistant professor at the University of Virgina’s Darden School of Business, in an interview with Marketing Mag. She said that range included CMOs who make less than $100,000 a year.

“The second-highest response [from those who don’t feel respected] is for those making more than $500,000 – 29 per cent. I found that interesting.”

That being said, the CMOs who seem to make the most amount of money are also the ones whose organizations seem to have the strongest digital marketing performances. For CMOs who were in the $350,000-plus range, 37 per cent said they felt their digital marketing activities were excellent.

Even more telling were the CMOs who made more than $500,000 annually – their jobs seem to be centred around restructuring marketing at their company, meaning they have both clout and pay (though that’s not too surprising).

Still, Whitler said that’s not an easy task. Going by her own experiences from her marketing career, doing things like building dashboards to create goals for the marketing team is a hefty task. And for top-tier marketers, they need to do that – and more – if they want their organizations to grow.

Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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