A Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) leads an organisation’s marketing team in developing, implementing and delivering marketing campaigns to prospective customers. One of the critical responsibilities of the Chief Marketing Officer, other than managing marketing profitability, is providing the greatest return on investment (ROI) from the organisation’s marketing resources.

Certification in the CMO program helps senior executives prepare to don this mantle and lead their organisations to growth by the following innovation.

 This program helps you in:

  • Distinguishing the core values defining a customer-centric marketing approach 
  • Developing cross-functional strategies to foster growth and innovation
  • Promoting the alignment of brand strategy with organisational goals
  • Leveraging the analytics to create successful marketing strategies
  • Creating an action plan to lead the organisation 
  • Proposing practical solutions to marketing challenges

The curriculum of the CMO Program

The curriculum of the CMO program is designed to meet the evolving market need for senior executives who can drive marketing strategy, follow innovation for growth, be customer-centric, and offer leadership. The program covers topics that will equip you with the frameworks and insights to develop a customer-centric marketing strategy and drive growth, leading to enterprise-wide change. Some key areas covered include: 

  • Consumer Power and the Changing Role of Marketing
  • Playing the Competitive Game and Developing Competitive Advantage
  • Leading Organizational Change
  • Building the Modern Marketing Organization
  • Innovation and Growth
  • Building Effective CMO and R+D Relationships
  • Customer-Centric Organization
  • Essential Business and Financial Metrics
  • Advanced Analytics and AI for Customer Centricity
  • Values-Based Leadership

Eligibility and Admissions Process for the CMO Program

Most colleges offering the certification in the CMO program follow eligibility criteria that include:

  • A minimum of 12 years of work experience in a senior marketing role
  • The candidate should have played a key role in executing strategic marketing initiatives and making an enterprise-wide impact. 
  • International exposure is preferred.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English.

The admissions committee of the college thoroughly reviews each application to evaluate the nature and scope of the applicant’s responsibilities in his past work experience. The committees seek to admit individuals with diverse skill sets and backgrounds. An applicant must also meet the qualification criteria mentioned above. Chief Marketing Officer MBA is not mandatory, but it does give you an added advantage.

Top Institutions Offering the CMO Program

Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA, is amongst the top institutions offering the CMO program. This program was established in 2013 and has been designed to help high-potential candidates succeed. The program enrols people who are newly promoted or have been for 18-24 months in a divisional or corporate marketing leadership role.

Along with Kellogg, several other business schools worldwide also offer executive education courses for CMOs or other marketing professionals. These include the CMO Program at Columbia Business School in the US, Strategic Marketing Program at INSEAD in France, the Strategic Marketing for Competitive Advantage program at Wharton in the US, and the Chief Marketing Officer Program at China Europe International Business School (Ceibs), Shanghai. IIM Lucknow, India, has also recently launched the CMO program with a duration of 10 months.

The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow has launched a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) programme in collaboration with Emeritus. It is a 10-month training for company executives, aspiring and new CMOs. According to the institute, the training educates professionals to improve their practical, industry-aligned abilities in order to produce transformative and sustainable marketing excellence.

The programme, which IIM Lucknow academics and industry experts will teach, is designed for senior professionals and corporate executives with more than 10 years of experience. There will be online sessions as well as a four-day on-campus immersion at the IIM Lucknow campus.

Career Options After the CMO Program

Many candidates believe that the position of CMO is the final destination in the marketing industry. Still, many CMOs can go on to acquire even high positions as VPs and CEOs of their organisations. According to PayScale.com, CMOs earn between $91,000 and $273,000 per year. According to PayScale, the average salary of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in India is ₹1,656,457. The average starting salary of a Chief Marketing Officer in India is around ₹40.8k per month.

Top Recruiters in India for the CMO role:

  • Reliance Industries
  • ITC Infotech
  • Tata Consultancy
  • HDFC Bank
  • Wipro
  • Hindustan Unilever
  • Infosys
  • Axis Bank
  • Kotak Mahindra 
  • Larsen and Toubro

Top recruiters abroad for CMO

  • Apple
  • Adobe
  • Netflix
  • Microsoft
  • MasterCard
  • Lego
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Lowes
  • Facebook
  • Walmart


What is a CMO program?

The Chief Marketing Officer Program is designed for marketing leaders who aspire to be in C-level roles and want to stay updated on current industry trends to ignite growth. This program is meant for directors, general managers, and VPs who are leading a change in their organisations by focusing on innovation. The CMO Program helps senior and mid-career executives from companies of any size or development stage eager to align marketing strategy with business goals. This program gives them the skills to leverage marketing opportunities to drive process improvement.

What skills do you need to be a chief marketing officer?

You need to acquire and develop a combination of soft and hard skills to excel in your role as a CMO.

The soft skills include:

  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills
  • Being comfortable with public speaking
  • Being passionate about their team achieving the goals set
  • Accountability for the results of the organisation
  • Always looking out for innovations

The hard skills that you must develop are:

  • Management skills such as process-setting, planning, organisational structure creation, and problem-solving
  • Understanding the industry in which a business operates and the marketing functions of its organisation
  • Having a solid grasp of the metrics and financial concepts used in business settings. 
  • Data analysis skills

What qualification do you need for Chief Marketing Officer Program?

An aspiring candidate must possess either a bachelor’s degree and extensive professional experience or a master’s degree. Most CMOs today have advanced degrees in both business and marketing. A Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) specialising in marketing equips the candidates with marketing strategies and theories, a business background, and management skills.

Do you need an MBA to be a CMO?

Chief Marketing Officer MBA is not mandatory, but your chances of becoming a CMO can increase substantially if you earn a Master’s in Business Administration with a specialisation in marketing. These post-graduate programs give advanced training directly applicable to the role. You also get the added advantage of networking with other professionals in your field.

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