CMO Career Path: Lessons from CMOs by CMOs

March 24, 2023 Tegrita

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CMOs and other revenue leaders have demanding careers. They must split their focus between driving revenue, supporting the sales process, and leading their teams. As an email marketing consultancy, the Tegrita team collaborates and aligns with our partners and clients to help navigate these hurdles. One effort to support the growth and development of today’s revenue leaders is through the Revenue Rehab podcast. Every week, our COO, Brandi Starr, invites a revenue leader to discuss the biggest challenges faced by revenue teams.

A hot topic on the couch has been the CMO career path and how to effectively choose your next step. Here are five potential next steps if you’re leading marketing:

  1. Becoming a Fractional CMO
  2. Securing a board seat
  3. Moving into another function
  4. Working with private equity or venture capital firms
  5. Achieving a successful exit strategy

Becoming a Fractional CMO

In CMO Exit Strategies, we were joined by Alon Waks, 4-time CMO/marketing leader, and Will Scott, Fractional CMO, to tackle becoming a fractional CMO. Will and Alon discussed the evolution of the role of Fractional CMOs. Fractional CMOs can do more than give advice— they can help a company by integrating and serving it. In a later conversation Considering Being a Fractional CMO? with Angus Robertson, we weighed the pros and cons and discussed some of the more tactical aspects of the fractional role.

Securing a Board Seat

In CMO Exit, Coco Brown and Sabrina Hannam joined Brandi to talk about ''Securing a Coveted Board Seat''. Our guests discussed what CMOs should consider when trying to get on the board, and how to approach their timing. Whether exploring this option early on or later, getting a board seat is a major milestone for any CMO.

Moving into another Function

Adam New-Waterson joined Brandi in Conscious Uncoupling for CMOs to discuss professional role transition for CMOs and Heads of Marketing. Adam explained the phrase "Conscious Uncoupling," which refers to leaving a job without hurting your professional relationships. Adam shared key learnings derived from his own experience, emphasizing the importance of focusing on your superpower.

Working with Private Equity or VC Firms

In Private Equity Pitfalls, Jenn Steele joined Brandi for a discussion on how private equity (PE) dynamics can present obstacles for a CMO. Since the board largely dictates the structure of PE firms and funds, this can pose significant challenges for CMOs. In CMO In Residence, Eric Eden discusses leading at a venture capital firm. In this discussion, he encourages CMOs to evaluate what stage of a company appeals to them most, and make a strategic decision from this information

Achieving a Successful Exit

Meagen Eisenberg, joined us in a discussion about Growth & Scaling. She highlighted the importance of a good market fit and a solid base of customers in choosing companies. According to her, building out the first 100 days is also key to success in the CMO role. For a CMO exit strategy to be successful, Meagen recommends conducting thirty-day audits. Furthermore, she emphasizes the importance of finding a marketing technologist. The role should be examined within the context of an IPO or Merger & Acquisition as an opportunity for acquiring new talent.

To learn more about our podcast and other topics, visit the Revenue Rehab website. And if you have any feedback or ideas you’d like us to cover, reach out to us.

Happy Revenue Rehabbing!


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