CMO vs. CGO: Importance of The Chief Growth Officer, Plus Salary

Though the Chief Growth Officer (CGO) role isn’t new, most marketers today aren’t entirely sure what a Chief Growth Officer is or does and what that job description includes.

We’re here to clear that up for you and identify whether your company needs to hire this C-level role. 

We’ve looked into the latest stats, trends, and even our own executive-level placements for insights on the renewed importance of the CGO title as compared to its predecessor, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) role.

Check out what we’ve uncovered to learn which C-level position your business needs to remain competitive and successful for years to come.

What is a Chief Growth Officer?

By definition, a CGO is tasked with ensuring and managing a company’s growth; through metrics like revenue, social ROIs, and employee engagement. A qualified CGO will be able to collaborate, measure, and provide c-level support with growth initiatives, all in the name of expansion and results.

When it comes to the CGO role, the reason it has regained popularity is that companies can no longer rely on “easy” growth in today’s highly competitive, digitally-driven marketplace.

The average salary range for a Chief Growth officer is $218,000-$360,000.

CMO vs CGO: What’s the difference between CGO and CMO?

Both CGOs and CMOs focus on driving growth for their company, a CGO leverages a more comprehensive approach to business growth as a whole, while a CMO will focus specifically on marketing efforts to drive growth.

Companies like Coca-Cola, Lyft, and even Kimberly-Clark have opted for a CGO over their previous CMO position.

Why? According to experts, due to emerging technologies and the demands of digital transformations, it’s becoming clear that the CMO needs help from a fellow c-suite focused on driving revenue and business growth. 

For continued success in a marketplace now saturated with online marketing campaigns, Coke had to reevaluate its reliance on marketing and the aspects of its corporate structure resulting in limited growth.

Implementing a Chief Growth Officer within their global organization was a way to cut through the red tape between departments and direct all growth drivers to one skilled, innovative professional with the sole focus of driving overall growth.

Despite companies like Coke scrapping their CMO role altogether to make room for their CGO position, this might not be a one-size-fits-all solution. 

The CGO role is tasked with creating new pathways to growth by optimizing limited resources, maximizing the impact of investment, and monitoring future trends.

This is why companies will benefit most from onboarding a CGO, not as a replacement, but, as an enhancement or source of support for the CMO.

Do you need a CGO or a CMO?

Before making any drastic changes to your current team of marketing professionals, here are four questions you’ll need to ask yourself when deciding if the right move for your business is to hire a CGO vs CMO:

1. Can your company size support a CGO? 

Despite big brands like Coke and Lyft onboarding CGOs, research shows that the smaller the company is, the bigger the opportunities for growth will be.

This means small-to-mid-sized companies have the most to gain by hiring a CGO, who will ensure they reach the next level of expansion and growth.

You now have to remember having a lean workforce also signifies there is a lot of room for your business to grow, meaning you more than likely have a plethora of overlooked opportunities CGOs are skilled in identifying, which will ultimately help boost your audience reach and positively impact your bottom line.

2. Can your company afford a Chief Growth Officer Salary?

The average salary range for a Chief Growth officer is $218,000-$360,000.

For companies of a certain size, this may be a hefty investment and ROI should be considered from all sides and cost analysis should be completed.

The potential for growth and the returns a CGO could help to drive could make investing in this role well worth the upfront costs.

3. Should you replace your CMO with a CGO? 

If a CMO isn’t driving growth to the expected level, it’s important to evaluate if the results are due to a lack of skill and expertise of the talent or if there are elements of the corporate structure that make it impossible for the CMO to generate the levels of growth expected of them.

The replacement of CMOs with CGOs can be tied to the fact that a Chief Growth Officer has less red tape and more cross-departmental capabilities that lead to more effective growth-generating strategies and results.

If structural hierarchy, company politics, or other internal hurdles are hindering the CMO’s efforts, hiring a CGO might be necessary. If it’s the talent that is the problem, look to hire a new CMO that defines themselves by their ability to innovate and drive growth rather than their advertising abilities.

4. What are your immediate goals or needs?

What goals do you envision for your company in the next two, five, and ten years? How much of that revolves around driving immediate and sustained growth?

Understanding the urgency behind some of your long-term business goals will help identify the missing c-level roles and skill sets you need to hire for now as you work to expand your business into a global brand.

Impact of the Chief Growth Officer role

A recent Singular study showed companies with a CGO reported their companies were 48% more likely to integrate AI and ML technologies successfully.

That same study also discovered that businesses who have hired a CGO were 65% more likely to invest in new marketing tech, a key indicator of future success in today’s automation-driven marketing landscape. 

This just goes to show that no matter the industry, companies have seen the value in investing in their stability and growth by hiring a CGO.

Looking to hire C-Suite level Talent? We can help.

Every year, Mondo helps to fill over 2,000 open positions nationwide.

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