Chief Marketing Officer
(CMO Recruiter)

Chief Marketing Officer

A recent client of mine acknowledged that he was stunned to learn that their incumbent CMO had never visited a client or had been on a sales call.  Marketing was engaging in campaigns to elevate awareness, but the CMO had no ownership of revenue.  We crafted a CMO job description that included 4 of these key pillars: Developing the brand, market research, content creation, and driving business. The new CMO would own the company’s P and L, putting them in very close collaboration with sales.

That’s modern marketing at the CMO level.

Our Process

When it comes to looking for a Chief Marketing Officer, you have lots of choices. Often the first firms that come to mind are the global, silk slipper executive search firms whose services include executive assessments and thorough resume vetting and background checks.

They also charge fully retained fees.

I offer an alternative.

Our Approach

  • I focus only in high growth companies with revenues less than $500M.
  • My specialty is digital and multichannel B2C and B2B marketing (online and offline)- 27 years worth.
  • I ask for a modest engagement fee and the rest is contingent. I keep plenty of skin in the game.
  • Looking for executive assessments, resume verification and background checks? There are plenty of online services that can do those for you at very low cost. I focus on doing what I do best: Identifying, evaluating, qualifying, presenting and helping you attract and hire top performing executive leaders in digital and multichannel marketing.
  • I encourage you to make the investment to bring you to your company headquarters to meet the decision makers and HR, work up a job description, discuss your culture and your hiring preferences. Once I fill the position, those expenses are deducted from my placement fee, so you’ll get that back at the conclusion of the search.

This process has led to the successful placement of 47 Chief Marketing Officers and VP’s of Marketing with clients ranging from start up to Inc. 5000 over the past two and half decades.  Click here to learn more about my recruitment process.

CMO Recruiter

Thought Leadership

“Defining Excellence in the Marketing C-Suite”

“The Coming of the Chief Digital Officer”

“What To Look For When Hiring a VP of CRM”

“Looking For Your First Ecommerce Leader? Here’s Your Hiring Checklist”

You may also enjoy this excellent and relevant article by Gartner’s Jake Sorofman on “Five Things Digital CMO’s Do Better,” published by the Harvard Business Review. A must read for anyone in a senior marketing leadership role.

Job Description

Expand the title below to read a sample CMO job description.

Chief Marketing Officer

As a member of the Corporate Governance Team, the CMO is responsible for working with the CEO, President, CFO, COO and Board of Directors in setting the Corporate Strategy and for the effective marketing of all bands to drive profitable top line sales.

The CMO is responsible for ensuring the talent of the Marketing Team will meet both current and future needs of the business as defined by the Marketing Strategy.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Works collaboratively on the executive management team for the benefit of the employees, executives, shareholders and the company.
  • Establishes and evaluates Corporate Marketing Objectives
  • Provides strategic insight and guidance for accomplishing corporate objectives
  • Sets overall marketing strategy and metric objectives for the following areas:
    • Promotions
    • Product & Pricing
    • E-Commerce
    • Merchandizing and Analytics
    • Communicates vision and marketing strategy to all areas of the organization


  • Provides leadership and professional interaction for the marketing group including a staff of 4 direct and 25 indirect reports
  • Prepares and communicates Human Capital Planning report based on current and future needs of the organization
  • Guides and encourages employees’ professional development to meet the
    Human Capital needs of the company
  • Provides leadership and developmental opportunities
  • Actively participates in succession planning to ensure the talent pipeline for all marketing activities is filled
  • Holds functional area Marketing Manages accountable for performance and personnel development


  • Plans, directs and coordinates the marketing of all products and services to ensure marketing strategy and plans meet changing market and competitive conditions.
  • Promotes and services all brands under the Corporate umbrella.
  • Ensures all areas of marketing work together to optimize the overall marketing strategy
  • Develops and oversees budget and resource management
  • Sets performance metrics for staff in terms of benchmarking quality of work, output and success of promotions

Position Requirements:

  • Knowledge and Experience
  • B.A. in related field and 15+ years experience in a Direct Marketing company (M.B.A. a plus)
  • Knowledge and experience with industry-standard direct marketing practices, including:
  • Circulation management
  • House file management
  • List rentals for prospecting
  • Metric analysis
  • Promotion and list performance
  • Merchandise and analysis
  • Web metrics
  • PPC metrics
  • Promotion development
  • Catalog experience a must
  • Internet marketing a must
  • E-mail promotions
  • Copy writing

Creative guidance

  • Strategic Planning and Vision
  • Bottom line experience with running a business or business unit, including budgeting
  • Understands technological trends that are shaping the direct marketing
  • industry
  • Customer knowledge
  • Outside agency management
  • Guiding creative development
  • Multi-Brand, Multi-Channel direct marketing


  • Time Management
  • Project Management
  • Internal team communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Research skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Performance Coaching


  • Ability to research and understand customer needs and attitudes
  • Ability to understand and identify potential opportunities based on market share analysis
  • Ability to interact with and be a part of the executive management team
  • Ability to guide and direct managers to accomplish Corporate objectives
  • Ability to manage multiple, and at times, conflicting objectives
  • Ability to interact positively with the staff to inspire peak performance
  • Able to travel 25%


  • Collaborative
  • Energetic
  • Inspirational
  • Visionary
  • Analytical
  • Intuitive
  • Creative under pressure
  • Disciplined and deadline driven
chief marketing officer

Sample CMO Placements

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Mailing Address

Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC
2068 Greenwood Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55060