Chief Marketing Officer Vs Marketing Director

May 30, 2020

Comparing Chief Marketing Officers to Marketing Directors

In advertising and marketing companies there are commonly chief marketing officers (CMOs) and marketing directors. CMOs create and push the teams' vision, whereas marketing directors manage specific marketing tasks for the organization. These two positions are compared below with some financial information on both.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary* (2020) Job Growth** (2018-2028)
Chief Marketing Officer Bachelor's degree $174,383 8% (for marketing managers)
Marketing Director Bachelor's degree with work experience $87,739 8% (for marketing managers)

Sources: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Chief Marketing Officers vs. Marketing Directors

CMOs have the number one responsibility of increasing a company's profits by tapping into the latest marketing trends. CMOs create the organization's marketing vision, while marketing directors supervise teams who take the company's vision and bring marketing efforts to life. CMOs are communicators of the vision, and marketing directors are the implementers of the vision.

Chief Marketing Officer

CMOs need experience and expertise in qualitative analysis to assess a company's needs and to be able to prepare a plan to market them properly. The CMO engages the marketing teams to make sure all channels have the same goal of reaching the target audience. They need excellent communication and motivation skills and should understand brand management, product development, and public relations. They are the true leader and representative of the overall sales force especially in larger organizations, so they should have extensive experience in sales management and business development.

Job responsibilities of a chief marketing officer include:

  • Developing the latest in trend-setting marketing projects
  • Leading in the creation of services for a marketing campaign
  • Directing teams in effective use of marketing mediums
  • Making sure services meet the client's needs and company's standards
  • Establishing relationships with new clients to generate sales

Marketing Director

Marketing directors oversee marketing team members and strategize with them about effectively using technology to create campaigns and promotions through print and broadcast advertising, the web and in-store events. They organize team budgets, develop design ideas and create marketing projects that will meet the organization's profit goals. Marketing directors should be able to think 'outside of the box' and be able to incorporate specialty items such as web development, focus panels, and postcard mailings. The director's focus may be channeled into market segments, or specific consumers defined by income, ethnicity, interests, or age.

Job responsibilities of a marketing director include:

  • Running promotions, taking care of vendors, and answering client's questions
  • Creating and directing strategic marketing policies for the company
  • Maintaining strong relationships between clients and promotional organizations
  • Supervising teams to secure deadlines and meet all standards
  • Staying up-to-date on online marketing tools, web analytics, and market trends

Related Careers

Chief marketing officers might be interested in working as a public relations manager watching over someone's image or an organization's profile. Marketing directors might use their research background and analytical knowledge as market research analysts to discover what buyers need most and how to reach them.

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