I've been at this CMO role for a really long time: seven months, to be exact. Which, depending on what industry report you happen to read, is one-half to one-third of the average CMO's tenure. So in some ways, I already feel like a dinosaur.
Not to mention that I'm a CMO at a company that didn't have to, or didn't need to, market itself previously; nor had it ever had a traditional marketing "budget" for things like public relations, media buying, trade marketing and sponsorships, or professional organization alignment and participation.
Oh, I almost forgot: When I was hired, I had a staff of one. Me.
I should also mention that I came to the job after spending five years as an executive at a public company that really knew how to market itself, had an established marketing department, and spent lots of money each year in marketing across a variety of media.
There is something invigorating about being a new CMO, but also about being a new CMO at a company that hasn't before truly invested in marketing. To be sure, it is challenging; and the most difficult part is probably the first 4-6 months, when the marketing foundation is being poured.
Once the foundation is poured, it's all about delivering ongoing results and proving and re-proving the value that the overall marketing function provides—which, in my case, differed because I needed define the functions that marketing should provide in the first place.
If you're a new CMO or a newly appointed one, here are a few tips that you might find useful in your own efforts:
1. Don't jam Marketing down people's throat—be a sponge