Only 48% of chief marketing officers feel fairly compensated, according to the CMO Council's first comprehensive compensation report.
Not surprisingly, CMOs who make more money are more likely to feel fairly compensated.
But the high overall degree of dissatisfaction with compensation calls for further research to determine whether CMOs are actually underpaid relative to key benchmarks for other C-level executives -- and if not, why CMOs believe they're underpaid, says Kimberly A. Whitler, assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, who analyzed the data and authored the report.
The finding also suggests that other questions need to be answered, including whether the perception of unfair pay (accurate or not) relates to the high turnover among CMOs, and whether this perception is affecting CMO performance.
The report is based on an analysis of responses to compensation-related questions from 345 of 525 participants in the Council's “State of Marketing” survey among senior-level marketers at companies around the world.
Best-paid CMOs report to CEOs
The research also found that 69% of the highest-paid CMOs – those earning more than $500,00 in annual base pay -- report directly to CEOs, and that a majority of these CMOs have developed strong alliances with CIOs and CFOs.
In addition, the highest-compensated CMOs tend to be focused on driving overall business performance (top-line growth, market share, efficiencies), and tend to cite their key accomplishments as being focused on restructuring marketing to drive results, improving the yield/accountability of marketing, and building digital capabilities.
Other results highlights:
Respondents to the survey questions analyzed for the CMO Council's compensation report were predominantly from B2B enterprises (45%), with 20% from B2C companies and 35% from hybrid companies. Thirty-five percent were from companies with revenues of more than $1 billion, 39% from companies with revenues of $51 million to $1 billion, and 25% from companies with revenues of $50 million or less. Respondents were drawn from more than 25 industry sectors, with 20% having marketing teams of more than 100 staff members.
The full report can be purchased on
the CMO Council site.
"Businessman holding money" photo from Shutterstock.