Chief Marketing Officer: Salary Insights

We were recently engaged by a client to conduct a search for a Chief Marketing Officer. Our client is an international e-commerce SaaS vendor. They are venture funded, have fewer than 200 full time employees, and less than $15MM in annual revenue.

This organization was in need of a CMO who could be hands on in the business — not a corner office leader. They were looking for a candidate who could lead the business through a pivot away from a sales led organization to a marketing led organization. They needed someone who had experience in a SaaS environment where marketing drove revenue. The CMO would inherit a team of 8 - 10 marketers.

We presented a range of candidates for this role:

International Expert: Base salary of $180K USD, with an expected bonus of $100K USD.

  • Matrixed leader with experience influencing large groups of people.
  • Helped build out the international strategy for a large, marketing driven organization, successfully opening new territories and countries.
  • Implemented simultaneous one-to-one and one-to-many marketing strategies, which drove both mass engagement and individual client satisfaction.

Content Contender: Approximately $150K on-target earnings.

  • Experienced driving demand through content marketing.
  • Built and led a team of 10 marketers, representing 4 functional units which roll up to them: acquisition marketing, content marketing, CRM management, and integrated marketing.
  • Works closely with leaders in sales, product, and R&D to ensure alignment across the business.

Seattle Superhero: Base salary of $160K USD, with a guaranteed annual bonus of $130K USD.

  • CMO experienced in successfully driving revenue through content marketing.
  • Led a previous employer through an IPO, after pivoting their business from traditional outbound marketing organization.
  • The result of that pivot led to the largest source of leads that closed, representing a 6:1 ROI.

Metrics Maven: Base salary of approximately $180K.

  • Marketing VP at a high profile B2B SaaS startup.
  • Scaled a marketing team from 3 to 21 people.
  • Determined the strategy for customer acquisition, and for driving down costs, resulting in 40% year over year growth.
  • In their 14 years of marketing experience, they moved through various functional marketing roles covering: product, demand generation, field marketing.

Startup Star: Base salary of $250K, plus a variable bonus.

  • Transitioned to CMO at a startup following a successful career at a very large international tech company, where they 5Xd one of their lines of business.
  • Has built and led teams that deliver marketing programs that drive revenue. Currently reports to a CEO.
  • Currently manages 15 people and influences 20, while delivering on their mandate to fill the marketing funnel and accelerate purchase behaviour.

Self-Serve Success: Base salary of $150K, plus a variable component.

  • Strong marketing leader and generalist, who has owned all pieces of marketing.
  • VP Marketing at a B2B SaaS company, managing a team of 10.
  • Experienced driving demand generation campaigns which created sustainable lead generation for the sales organization, while providing consistent value and meaningful communication to existing customers.

As you can see, compensation for these candidates varies significantly based on the length and scope of experience, and leadership capability.

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For organizations and job seekers alike, it can be challenging to understand what a particular position should pay. Often, it’s a calculation between salary surveys that lack all context, what a person has earned in the past, and ad hoc conversations with others in the field.

We’re sharing market insights into current compensation packages for key roles in the tech industry. Our recruiters conduct targeted searches on behalf of our clients, seeking out candidates who fit the requirements of the role, and diligently qualifying them to present only the very best talent. These posts are meant to highlight the contextual elements that make up compensation, and to help our clients and candidates better understand the current market forces that affect earning potential.

Is your organization hiring key talent that will drive your growth? Book a consultation with our friendly and knowledgeable team today—we live and breathe the tech talent ecosystem every day, and can help you understand the market for the talent you need.
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