A down economy has meant more stability for chief marketing officers, according to an annual report from Spencer Stuart. The survey found the average tenure for a CMO at a major firm was 34.7 months in 2009, a jump of 6.3 months over the previous year and the longest since the executive search firm began tracking the statistic in 2004.
In a statement, Tom Seclow, who leads Spencer Stuart's marketing officer practice, credited the expanding skills of CMOs. "Since publishing our original CMO tenure study back in 2004, we have continually counseled CMOs to think and act like general managers who just happen to be great marketers," said Seclow. "Today, we're seeing more and more examples of sophisticated and savvy CMOs who truly have influence among their peers in the C-suite. This is undoubtedly contributing to longer CMO tenures in many cases."
The firm also attributed the longer tenure to macroeconomic trends, like reduced spending on marketing initiatives, consolidation in some industries and a lagging job market.
When Spencer Stuart launched the study in 2004, the average tenure was 23.6 months and hit a low of 23.2 months in 2006.