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Chief Communications Officer Vs. Chief Marketing Officer

Chief communications officers and chief marketing officers are high-level executive positions in organizations that require excellent management and communication skills. Learn details about these positions, including salary, responsibilities, and related careers.

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Chief Communications Officer vs. Chief Marketing Officer

If you aspire to be a top executive in a corporation, then working as a chief communications officer (CCO) or chief marketing officer (CMO) may be a goal for you. Both positions entail being the person in charge of a particular division of a company. CCOs are responsible for communications with the public, while CMOs are responsible for the marketing aspects of the organization.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2016)**
Chief Communications Officer Bachelor's degree $115,946 8% (for all top executives)
Chief Marketing Officer Bachelor's degree $168,260 8% (for all top executives)

Sources: *PayScale.com **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Chief Communications Officers vs. Chief Marketing Officers

CCOs and CMOs are part of the group of top-level executives in a corporation. They are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the department they lead, although their day-to-day activities depend largely on the industry and size of organization they work with. CCOs may manage external communications with the public and other organizations, whereas CMOs mostly focus on marketing the organization's products or services to the public and other interested parties. Individuals in both careers must be focused on the strategic implementation of their work and be aware of how their department fits into the organization as a whole.

Chief Communications Officer

A CCO is the individual in charge of communications in an organization, most often the external communication with clients, investors, and other interested parties. Part of their work is more commonly known as public relations. This includes having a thorough understanding of various types of media, including print, visual, written, and web-based. In addition to understanding these forms of communication, CCOs must be effective communicators, as part of their job often entails imparting information at meetings, conferences, and other presentations. CCOs often work longer than a standard 40-hour work week, as they are responsible for a large part of the organization. There are few advancement opportunities available for CCOs, although some choose to become a chief executive officer (CEO) or chief operations officer (COO).

Job responsibilities of a CCO include:

  • Having a thorough knowledge of the industry and the organization's goals and message
  • Targeting the right audience and working to change public perception as needed
  • Understanding the industry's political environment and interpersonal relationships and developing messages as appropriate
  • Developing communications campaigns for special initiatives or to meet a departmental or organizational goal

Chief Marketing Officer

A CMO is the individual in charge of marketing in an organization, most often marketing the goods or services that the organization provides. They are responsible for brand awareness, generating new leads, and using quality data to create targeting campaigns. CMOs are often responsible for measuring and reporting on how successful the organization's marketing initiatives are. They work more than 40 hours per week in most cases, due to their high-level within the organization. Advancement opportunities are somewhat limited in this career, although there are options such as becoming a CEO or COO.

Job responsibilities of a CMO include:

  • Ability to tailor messages to appeal to various groups of clients and potential clients
  • Create budgets for new marketing campaigns
  • Present business cases to get marketing campaigns approved
  • Coordinate functions with other departments to ensure consistent messages

Related Careers

A career as a chief scientific officer may be interesting to those who are looking to become a chief communications officer but who have a strong interest in science and research. Those looking to become a chief marketing officer may be interested in a career as a chief strategic officer, implementing an organization's overall short- and long-term strategies.

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