b2bmarketing cmo hiring

Unlocking Your Potential: The Ultimate Guide to Climbing the Marketing Ladder from Associate to CMO

How to go from Marketing Associate to CMO 🤓📈🧑‍💻

I’ll walk you through the common criteria for moving up each phase of the ladder 🪜

To become a Manager of a specific discipline in Marketing (e.g. Product Marketing Manager)
• Demonstrated completion of successful projects
• Curiosity to learn more

To become a Senior Manager:
• Able to estimate timelines & due dates accurately & consistently
• Able to plan out & execute projects with high performance from framework to collaboration & review to completion
• Proficient with the relevant tech stack
• Able to track the quantitative performance of activities

To become a Director:
• People management experience (ideally 2+ people)
• Deep expertise in the specific discipline of Marketing, perks if you have experience in another discipline too
• Has shown quantitative impact on ROI, pipeline, ARR, or other relevant metrics to the discipline
• Has shown the ability to create strategic plans but still able to get your hands dirty
• Able to do budgeting, forecasting, & financial management, most likely with the help of someone more senior
• Proficient with analysis & reporting
• Proficient with your own discipline’s tech stack & some abilities in other disciplines’ tech stacks
• Strong collaborator with other teams inside & outside of Marketing

To become a Senior Director:
• Do things that Directors do but be consistently achieving or outperforming people management, marketing planning, & quantitative goals

To become VP of Marketing:
• Luck or providence
• People management experience (ideally at least 4-6+ people, some may require 10+)
• Product/brand marketing experience & demand generation experience
• Expert at budgeting, forecasting, financial management, headcount planning, & agency management
• Able to speak to past quantitative pipeline & revenue results
• Experience in a similar industry
• Able to speak to how you build culture & employee engagement for the whole Marketing team
• Able to solve cross-functional issues, not just Marketing issues

To become 2x VP of Marketing:
• Was already the VP of Marketing at a company with ARR greater than the ARR of the company you’re joining (they want to know you can get to their level; it’s risky to a company if you’ve never worked at their level already)
• Proven pipeline & revenue results from the last company you worked at
• Able to speak to specific campaigns end to end
• Able to give examples of how to solve people management issues
• Able to put together a solid 90 day and/or 1 year Marketing plan

To become CMO:
• Some years of experience as a VP of marketing
• Results at multiple companies are consistently solid
• The items in the 2x VP of Marketing are a must have now

This is the final post in my series on this geared towards marketing in startups. If you got this far and liked it, let me know!
Also, I hit LinkedIn’s character limit so check the comments for additional context.