B2B Marketing World

B2B Marketing Executive

Definition, Responsibilities, Skills, and Salary

A top-tier executive at the C-suite level, the B2B Marketing Executive or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), is the driving force of strategic marketing within an organization. From shaping the company’s public image to establishing its position as a market leader, its role is essential for driving business growth.

But what does it take to excel in this role? A unique skill set includes a profound understanding of the B2B landscape, leading teams, and aligning marketing strategies with the company objectives.

Step into the shoes of a B2B Marketing Executive as we discuss the responsibilities and skillset this position demands. Also, we explain the education leading to it and the critical first 90 days on the job.

How can you make $150,000 to $200,000 annually without bonuses as a B2B Marketing CMO?

Buckle up for a deep dive into the exciting world of B2B marketing leadership.

By Categories: Management21 min readLast Updated: January 7th, 2024
Post: B2B Marketing Executive

3 Article Highlights

  • Definition and Explanation of a B2B Marketing Executive
  • Details on Responsibilities, Skills, and the First 90 Days on the Job
  • Salary Range of a B2B CMO
  • No time? [TL;DR] Read Summary

Chapter 1

What is a B2B Marketing Executive

Understand the Definition of a B2B Chief Marketing Officer

A B2B marketing executive or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is an executive at the C-suite level. This top manager oversees the planning, development, and execution of an organization’s marketing initiatives.

The primary focus is driving business growth, and the CMO plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between brand perception and consumer engagement. Their main objective is to ensure that products and services resonate effectively with current and potential customers.

B2B Marketing Overview

There are two distinct markets: business-to-business (B2B), where companies sell to other companies, and business-to-consumer (B2C), where companies sell directly to consumers. This concept is straightforward yet still relevant in describing markets and customer types.

Examples of B2B industries include automotive, construction, chemical, oil and gas production, and textiles.

Moreover, it is common for a company to sell to B2B and B2C customers. Many companies have a wholesale segment (B2B market) while simultaneously selling to individual consumers in a B2C market.

Consequently, there are also two types of marketing. B2B Marketing and B2C Marketing.

Business-to-business marketing (B2B Marketing) is all the actions and processes in promoting a product or service to other companies. Unlike consumer marketing, which targets individual consumers, B2B marketing explicitly targets businesses. Other commonly used terms to describe B2B marketing include industrial marketing, business marketing, or B2B industry marketing. These terms represent the same marketing discipline.

B2B vs B2C in a Nutshell

B2B and B2C in a Nutshell © B2B Marketing World

Definition of a B2B Marketing Executive (CMO)

The B2B Marketing Executive, often called the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), is a crucial member of the C-level suite. He or she is responsible for the creation and execution of comprehensive marketing strategies within a business-to-business environment.

The B2B Marketing CMO is not solely about promoting products and services but also about understanding industry trends, analyzing market data, and shaping the business’s strategic direction. Their expertise contributes to identifying new business opportunities, customer retention strategies, and aligning marketing objectives with the business’s long-term goals.

Further, this executive role develops the company’s brand image and positioning within the market. All marketing and communication responsibilities lie with the B2B CMO and his team.

The CMO is also important in creating relationships with other businesses, stakeholders, and potential clients. Due to the nature of business markets, network building is essential in a B2B context.

Adopting a customer-centric approach, the B2B Marketing CMO ensures that the organization’s offerings resonate with their business customers. The results are revenue growth and business expansion with a strong brand at heart.

Origins and Evolution of the C-Suite

The concept of the C-suite originates from the corporate sector, with the ‘C’ standing for the word “chief”, as in “chief executive officer”, “chief operating officer”, or “chief financial officer”.

The C-suite is essential to focus on a company’s strategy. These are a company’s top managers and make the most impactful and important decisions. The C-suite has evolved. New roles are part of the team to address the growing complexity of business operations and the digital age.

Members of the C-Suite include:

  • CEO or Chief Executive Officer
  • CFO or Chief Financial Officer
  • COO or Chief Operating Officer
  • CTO or Chief Technology Officer
  • CMO or Chief Marketing Officer

CEO

The CEO or Chief Executive Officer is the highest-ranking executive responsible for making major corporate decisions and being the company’s public face. The CEO sets the company’s strategy and direction and closely works with the board of directors.

C-Suite: CEO

CFO

The CFO or Chief Financial Officer manages the company’s finances. Including financial planning, risk management, and financial reporting. The CFO works alongside the CEO to shape the company’s future direction regarding fiscal performance and growth.

C-Suite: CFO

COO

The COO or Chief Operating Officer handles the company’s day-to-day work and operations. They work closely with other C-Suite executives, ensuring business operations align efficiently with the established policies and strategies. The COO role is essential in B2B as industrial companies produce goods and are heavy on production processes.

C-Suite: COO

CTO

The CTO or Chief Technology Officer oversees the use of technology within the organization, ensuring that tech resources align with the company’s business needs. Introducing this role into the C-suite reflects the increasing importance of technology in maintaining competitiveness. The CTO and CMO are closer than ever when it comes to MarTech (a new business combining marketing and technology).

C-Suite: CTO

CMO

The increasing demand for top-level marketing support introduced the role of the Chief Marketing Officer or CMO into the C-suite. The CMO, specifically in a B2B context, has become a key player in the digitized marketplace, where effective marketing strategies can mean the difference between business growth and stagnation.

Still, many companies have not yet understood the importance of having a marketer in their leadership team. Therefore, top-ranking B2B marketing executives are rare.

B2B Marketing Executive: CMO

The C-Suite [Infographic]

This infographic shows the discussed details of the B2B Marketing Executive, as part of the C-Level.

C-Level Suite [Infographic]

Caption © B2B Marketing World

The C-Suite Executive Management [Infographic]

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Chapter 2

B2B Marketing Executive Job Description

Responsibilities and the Necessary Skillset of a B2B CMO

A B2B Marketing Executive plays a vital role in driving business growth, shaping the company’s public image, and positioning it as a market leader.

Their primary objective? To develop and implement strategic marketing plans that help the business succeed. From strategic planning of marketing campaigns to overseeing their implementation – they are at the forefront of driving marketing and communication.

Responsibilities of a B2B CMO

We have already defined the primary role of a marketing executive. Now, let’s delve deeper into the key responsibilities of a CMO. Disclaimer: the pace of marketing is currently faster than ever, which implies that the job duties of marketing teams and management are continuously evolving. As a result, it is crucial to be flexible and capable of handling multiple responsibilities simultaneously:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Brand Management
  • Customer Engagement
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Team Leadership

1. Strategic Planning: One of the primary responsibilities of a CMO is to establish the strategic direction for the marketing department. This includes strategic planning, defining long-term objectives, and determining the methods, tools, and processes to achieve them. It is their duty to ensure that the marketing strategies align with the overall goals. The strategic marketing plan helps the company grow.

2. Brand Management: Branding is essential for B2B companies as the brand creates trust. Trust is a major aspect of long-lasting business relationships. The CMO is crucial in ensuring brand messages are consistent across all platforms. The brand needs to live up to the set expectations. By doing so, the brand drives growth and positions the company in consumers’ minds. The marketing executive needs to ensure that the brand identity and values are effectively communicated and connect with the target audience.

3. Customer Engagement: The modern CMO gets it – marketing isn’t just about getting new customers. It is about building long-lasting relationships. They create strategies to engage customers, attract them, keep them around, and strengthen those connections over time. This means developing campaigns and initiatives personalized to each customer’s needs and preferences, ultimately making them happier and more loyal.

4. Marketing Analytics: The CMO uses analytics to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions. By understanding customer behavior, preferences, and feedback, they can optimize marketing strategies for the best ROI. This involves tracking key marketing metrics, analyzing campaign performance, and using data to enhance marketing effectiveness.

5. Team Leadership: B2B CMOs are team players. Marketing has become diverse and complex. There is no “one-fits-all” approach. A successful campaign requires different skills. As leaders, the CMO oversees the marketing department. They ensure that campaigns and initiatives run smoothly and strategically align with the overall goals. A collaborative environment encourages creativity and innovation. Therefore, marketing team members can think outside the box and bring fresh ideas to the table.

In addition to their marketing department’s internal responsibilities, B2B marketing executives also work closely with other business units within the company. This collaboration ensures that marketing strategies align with the organization’s objectives.

Working together towards shared business goals contributes to the company’s overall success and growth. Their ability to navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape while keeping an eye on the big picture makes them effective leaders in their field.

The changing responsibilities of a Marketing CMO are also reflected in these answers from 188 Fortune 500 B2B Marketers:

Change in Core Responsibilities B2B Marketing Executive

Change in Core Responsibilities B2B Marketing Executive © Design: B2B Marketing World; Data: B2B Group

Skillset of a B2B CMO

Understanding the customer, leading teams, and aligning marketing strategies with the broader company objectives requires a unique set of skills:

  • B2B Marketing
  • Leadership
  • Analytical Skills
  • Customer Insight
  • Collaboration

1. B2B Marketing:  A marketing executive needs a deep understanding of core marketing principles and strategies. You must identify target audiences and create B2B campaigns that engage, inform, and convert. Knowledge of the latest marketing technologies and tools is essential.

In the B2B landscape, where the decision-making process can be complex and lengthy, a B2B CMO must understand how to nurture relationships with business clients. This is done through strategic content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and other digital channels.

2. Leadership: A B2B CMO should possess the skills to effectively build and manage high-performing teams, establish clear directives, and inspire team members. Given the numerous interactions with other departments, it is crucial to have the ability to address conflicts. And to establish a collaborative environment centered around shared goals.

3. Analytical Skills: Proficiency in marketing analytics tools and platforms is a must. You need to define key performance indicators and track them. This includes A/B testing, analyzing customer segmentation, and interpreting complex data sets to drive marketing decisions.

4. Customer Insight: Understanding customer behavior, predicting trends, and segmenting markets are crucial for customer profiling. B2B CMOs should have the skills to use CRM platforms, do market research, and implement customer feedback to enhance their marketing strategies.

5. Collaboration: As a marketing executive, you must establish cross-functional collaboration. This includes cooperation with sales, product development, finance, and other departments to align marketing strategies with overall business goals.

Chapter 3

Education of a B2B Marketing Executive

How to Become a Marketing Executive

There are three pillars of education to become a marketing executive in the B2B environment.

  • First, a solid foundation in marketing.
  • Second, a comprehensive understanding and proven track record of how B2B markets and companies operate. A technical education can greatly assist in mastering this demanding task.
  • Finally, your management and executive education is often attained through post-graduate studies such as an MBA degree.

B2B Marketing Education

To establish a solid foundation for a B2B Marketing Executive role, a formal education in marketing or a related field is highly advantageous.

The most common path is to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Business Administration, or a related field.

These programs typically cover essential subjects such as marketing principles, consumer behavior, market research, and strategic marketing. These subjects are critical to understanding marketing basics and establishing a solid foundation.

For those willing to delve deeper, a Master’s degree in Marketing is a great next step. Such programs go beyond the basics to cover advanced topics like brand management, digital marketing, sales management, and international marketing. Some B2B Marketing Executives even opt for doctoral degrees, specializing in areas like consumer psychology or strategic marketing.

While considering formal education, it’s important to look for programs that offer opportunities for practical application, such as:

  • internships,
  • co-op programs,
  • or capstone projects.

These allow students to apply what they have learned in a real-world setting, honing their skills before stepping into the B2B marketing arena.

In addition, many universities and colleges have started integrating B2B marketing modules into their curriculum, given its growing significance. These specialized courses can equip you with advanced marketing strategies relevant to the B2B environment.

Remember, formal education can provide a comprehensive understanding of marketing principles, but the learning shouldn’t stop there. The marketing field is ever-evolving, and staying current with industry trends and techniques is essential through continuous learning and professional development.

These are some great options to deepen your B2B marketing education:

  • Online Learning
  • Professional Certifications
  • Learning on the Job
  • Networking and Mentorship

1. Online Learning: Digital platforms are on the rise. Quality learning options are easy to access and available online. Websites like Udemy and LinkedIn Learning offer marketing courses and sometimes also on business marketing. These courses, often taught by industry professionals, provide practical insights and flexible learning schedules.

2. Professional Certifications: Another option is to earn a professional certification from renowned marketing institutions. For instance, the American Marketing Association offers the PCM (Professional Certified Marketer) in marketing management and other marketing disciplines.

3. Learning on the Job: Perhaps the most practical education comes from on-the-job experience. Working in a B2B environment allows you to apply theory into practice, learn from real-world challenges, and understand customer behavior firsthand. It is essential to choose the right company and the right team and management to learn from.

4. Networking and Mentorship: Join professional networks, attend industry conferences, and seek mentorship from experienced B2B marketers. LinkedIn is a great place to do so. The platforms offer opportunities to learn from the experiences of others, stay updated with the latest trends, and establish valuable industry connections.

Remember, the best education combines both theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Whichever path you choose, continuous learning and adaptation are fundamental for the B2B marketing executive to be.

Management and Executive Education

A career as a marketing executive requires a robust foundation in management and executive education. This provides an understanding of the broader business landscape, equipping you with the ability to make strategic decisions and navigate complex business scenarios.

MBA Programs: Many B2B Marketing Executives opt for an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree. Renowned institutions like Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton offer comprehensive programs. They give you crucial skills such as leadership, strategic thinking, and financial understanding. Some MBA programs even offer specialization in marketing, which can be an added advantage to further deepen your marketing knowledge.

Executive Education Programs: These are short, intensive courses many top business schools offer. They are tailored for executives looking to add new skills or update their knowledge, covering subjects like strategy, leadership, and innovation. They are typically modular and can be completed alongside your regular work.

PhD Programs: A PhD in Marketing or a related field is another option. This path is especially useful if you aim for a senior executive role or wish to specialize in a particular aspect of B2B marketing. It demonstrates a high level of expertise and commitment. A marketing PhD is a door opener for a second career path in teaching and publishing.

It is definitely a big advantage to gain one of these management-centric educations. However, a skilled marketer with a profound academic degree will likely have the necessary skills to obtain a CMO role in most SME companies.

How to become a Marketing Executive

Start by embracing responsibility early on. Actively seek out challenging roles and demanding projects. It’s particularly beneficial to engage in lighthouse projects that involve top management. Additionally, aim for job stability rather than frequent changes. Establish a solid foundation by working with a mid-sized company for 3-5 years.

Unfortunately, there is no checklist on how to become a marketing executive. But taking the above tips by heart gives you the right mindset and likely a competitive advantage over others.

Want a mentor to guide you? Let’s talk!

Chapter 4

B2B Marketing Executive Salary

How Much Do Marketing Executives Make

The salary of a B2B Marketing Executive can vary widely depending on factors like the company size, industry, location, and level of experience. On average, B2B Marketing Executives make around $150,000 to $200,000 annually in the United States, without bonuses.

In larger multinational companies, this can go up to over $200,000 annually. This usually includes incentives and bonuses based on performance. Like any profession, the more experience and expertise you have, the higher your potential earnings can be.

Marketing Executive Salary Overview

As said, the range of a B2B CMO is broad and depends on multiple factors. Here is an overview of the annual salary:

Average Base Salary $ 150,000 – $ 200,000
Average Salary, including Bonuses $ 250,000 – $ 470,000
Startups and SMEs $ 100,000 – $ 150,000
Mid-sized Companies $ 150,000 – $ 250,000
Large, global Enterprises $ 250,000 – $ 1,000,000

Influencing Factors

You may have noticed that the salary range in the above overview is quite big. This is because several factors influence a marketing CMO’s salary. While some are specific to B2B, the other factors are like for other jobs:

  • Company Size

  • Industry

  • Country and City
  • Base salary and Bonuses
  • Marketing Organization

1. Company Size

The size of the company plays an essential role. Larger organizations typically have bigger budgets, meaning they can afford to pay higher salaries than smaller firms. The company’s financial stability and growth potential can also impact the salary range. A well-established company may offer a more competitive salary package to attract top marketing managers.

2. Industry

The industry in which the company operates also has a big impact. Industries such as technology, finance, and pharmaceuticals are known to pay higher salaries due to their high-revenue nature. Additionally, emerging industries and niche markets may offer higher wages to attract experienced B2B marketing executives with specialized knowledge and expertise. In some countries, like Germany or Austria, the salary is based on a collective agreement valid for all employees of a particular industry. Industrial industries have higher salary levels than, e.g., government or commerce.

3. Country and City

The geographical location, particular country, and city have an impact on the salary as well. For example, a B2B CMO in a major city like New York or London will likely earn more due to higher living costs. Further, the competitive job market compared to one in a smaller city increases compensation levels.

4. Base Salary and Bonuses

The compensation package of a B2B Marketing Executive is not limited to the base salary. Additional earnings come in the form of bonuses, typically tied to the performance of the individual and the marketing organization. These bonuses can be based on achieving specific targets, such as revenue growth, customer acquisition, or market share. Therefore, the total compensation of the CMO depends significantly on his performance. Up to 100% bonuses are possible.

5. Marketing Organization

Lastly, the structure of the marketing organization itself can affect pay. For instance, if the organization relies heavily on digital marketing strategies, the CMO’s proficiency in these areas increases salary. Probably the most impactful aspect is the level of responsibility and leadership required. A B2B Marketing Executive who oversees a large team or has strategic decision-making authority is compensated at a higher level.

Chapter 5

First 90 Days of a new B2B Marketing CMO

Learnings from 6 Real Life Examples

These are first-hand experiences of CMOs and how they have handled their first 90 days as marketing executives:

Build Relationships and Understand Expectations

After multiple first 90-day experiences, I’ve learned how to make the most of that time.

First, get to know your team both personally and professionally. Employees want to work for someone who appreciates them and is interested in their well-being.

Second, make powerful alliances and build relationships with your peers. By doing this, you ensure you understand their challenges, opportunities, and how you can support each function in the company.

Last, know what is expected of you in the first 90 days and beyond. Don’t leave it to chance. With your boss, go over goals, KPIs, projects that need to be completed, and how you can help them so that you add value from the very first day.

Sarah Guckes, Chief Marketing Officer, EverView

Foster a Collaborative Team Culture

In my experience, the first step for any new B2B marketing executive is learning about the team you’ll lead. Get to know them as a team and as individuals, and take the time to build rapport and relationships. Learn what skills they want to develop and where they feel the marketing function can be improved.

A large part of the executive role is leadership, and gaining insight into your team members is crucial to your and their success. Then, start building your team culture. I’ve always found a culture that fosters mutual respect, collaboration, teamwork, and striving for common goals to be a very effective one. A strong team can make a large and lasting impact, even if small.

Robyn Hobson, Chief Marketing Officer, Remote Vans

Learn, Assess, and Execute

The best tip(s)—learn everything you can about your business, a full 360-degree view from multiple sources. This includes its products, customers, value proposition, competitors, etc.

Also, assess your team as objectively as you can and set forth to make any adjustments. Develop and build relationships throughout. Simultaneously, you should be focused on actions, on actually executing (as an executive, it’s your job) with vigor to move the business forward.

Ben Wilbert, President, Bluejacket Marketing

Engage with Customers Early On

Prioritize speaking with as many customers as possible early on.

While there is always a range of “must-dos” when forming or taking over a marketing function, accelerating your understanding of your market, what motivates your customers, and how your product or service helps them is key to ramping up your effectiveness as a marketing leader in those first 90 days and beyond—particularly if you are new to the company or industry.

Jumping onto calls and face-to-face meetings with new and old customers will help you identify the key themes and needs that will inform your immediate marketing priorities and influence your decision-making around forward strategy, team composition, and marketing activities.

Gaining a deeper understanding of the market will also help you to set up a more valuable dialogue with leadership across sales, product, and other commercial functions, setting you up for longer-term success in your role and ultimately helping drive more growth as a marketing leader.

Tom Lloyd, Founder and Managing Partner, tllo

Understand the Sales Process

As a founder who has hired several professionals, the top tip is to spend the first 90 days deeply understanding the sales process, funneling through data analysis, and talking to reps.

Grasping the nuances of the customer journey is crucial to aligning marketing strategies. Resist making sweeping changes early on or getting distracted by vanity metrics like website clicks. Instead, identify gaps where marketing can tighten messaging, fill the funnel, and accelerate conversions. This lesson was learned after an early marketing misfire that didn’t move revenue.

Marketing carries immense responsibility for pipeline generation. Putting in the work upfront to intimately learn the business will drive strategies that result in exponential growth.

Ankit Prakash, Founder, Sprout24

Conduct a Thorough Company Review

While your primary responsibility may be driving growth, it’s crucial to allocate ample time for a thorough review of the company to discern what is working and what isn’t. Additionally, taking the time to understand the company’s core essence is key to developing unique strategies and effectively communicating with the target audience.

Jason Vaught, Director of Content, SmashBrand

Chapter 6

Summary [TL;DR]

B2B Marketing Executive in A Nutshell

Definition: A B2B Marketing Executive, alternatively known as a B2B Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), plays a key role in business-to-business entities. They are gatekeepers of the company’s marketing vision and are tasked with positioning their organization favorably in the B2B landscape.

Job Description: The B2B CMO is responsible for formulating and implementing marketing strategies that drive business growth. They orchestrate marketing campaigns, manage critical relationships, and analyze data to derive valuable insights and guide decision-making processes.

Skillset: The skills required for a B2B CMO are multifaceted. They must possess leadership, strategic thinking, and data analysis skills to understand market trends and consumer behavior. Additionally, relationship-building skills are critical, fostering a climate of collaboration within and outside the organization.

Education: B2B Marketing Executives typically hold a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or a related field. An MBA or a master’s degree in a similar discipline can provide a competitive edge. Ongoing professional development through seminars, workshops, and courses is also beneficial in keeping up with evolving market trends.

Salary: The salary of a B2B Marketing Executive is dependent on numerous variables, including location, industry type, the size of the team they oversee, and their expertise in specific areas like digital marketing strategies.

Average Base Salary $ 150,000 – $ 200,000
Average Salary, including Bonuses $ 250,000 – $ 470,000

First 90 Days: The initial 90 days of a new B2B Marketing CMO’s tenure are vital. This period involves setting realistic and achievable goals, forging strong relationships with team members, and comprehending the organization’s dynamics and culture.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Find Answers to the Most Important Questions

What is B2B Marketing Executive?2023-11-29T18:24:54+01:00

A B2B marketing executive or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is an executive at the C-suite level. This top manager oversees the planning, development, and execution of an organization’s marketing initiatives.

What does a B2B Marketer do?2023-11-29T18:30:09+01:00

A B2B Marketer works in a Business-to-Business marketing team and addresses other companies as a target group. Contrary to a B2C Marketer whose target group is consumers, not other businesses.

What is a B2B Marketing Lead Job Description?2023-11-29T18:31:32+01:00

A top-tier executive at the C-suite level, the B2B Marketing Executive or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), is the driving force of strategic marketing within an organization. From shaping the company’s public image to establishing its position as a market leader, its role is essential for driving business growth.

Stephan Wenger

B2B Marketing Expert, Editor and Marketing Management Consultant

Stephan Wenger is a seasoned B2B Marketing Expert with more than 10 years of experience in leading global companies. His extensive expertise lies in the realms of B2B online marketing, content marketing, strategic marketing, and driving synergy between sales and marketing, including effective lead management.

By Categories: Management21 min readLast Updated: January 7th, 2024

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