While Chief Growth Officer (CGO) isn’t a new role, there’s a good chance that it’s a new role to you.
In 2019, Singular studied 700 companies and found that just 14% employed a CGO. With the cross-functional responsibility of creating more aggressive growth initiatives, a CGO’s job description is not as clear-cut as that of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). What exactly should a CGO do? What experience and skills are required?
If you’ve decided to hire a Chief Growth Officer or are considering the option, the good news is that the job’s primary goal is right there in the name: growth.
What to Look for When You’re Ready to Hire a Chief Growth Officer
When making a hiring decision for any C-level role, personality and cultural fit are just as important as experience. Your new hire will be an important organization leader. As a Chief Growth Officer, he or she will need to collaborate with marketing, sales and product teams – and get them all working together toward clearly defined growth goals.
Your CGO will also be tasked with discovering new customer segments, new market opportunities and better ways to increase value to customers. These tasks are not for the faint of heart or head. (Is that a saying? It should be.) Here are a few defining traits to look for:
Above all else, you will need to hire a Chief Growth Officer who is a leader. He or she will need to work with many people and personalities from the finance team to the creative team to product engineers. The CGO purview is wide, so you need someone who can effectively inspire, delegate, collaborate and mentor.
Analytical and Creative Thinking
Achieving aggressive growth goals requires as much analytical ability as it does creativity. Not everyone has both traits, which can make a great CGO tough to find. One of the reasons that the CGO role is becoming more popular is the sheer amount of data now available within marketing and sales. That data needs an expert to slice and dice it in order to discover new growth opportunities and optimize marketing budgets.
At the same time, if you build it, they won’t come without marketing – the cornerstone of a growth strategy. A creative and marketing-savvy mind is needed to realize the newfound growth opportunities that data analysis has uncovered.
As the conductor of marketing, sales and product teams, your CGO will be leading the effort to identify products, product features and services that customers want and need – and to communicate the value you bring to those customers. Power has shifted from seller to buyer in recent decades. Customers have more options, more demands and more of a voice today than ever before. Look for a CGO who can not only decipher analytics but also understand your customers and what’s driving their purchase decisions.
Curiosity and Boldness
The CGO role demands someone who can challenge the status quo, bring new ideas to the table and create opportunities. We find that one of the best ways to do all that (aside from number crunching) is to be curious and bold – to question what has always been done and not be afraid to disrupt accepted practices.
If you haven’t seen the Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic 2020 at chiefmartec.com that shows the explosion of marketing and sales related technology, take a look here. You’ll find all sorts of new ideas, tools and ways of doing things that are waiting to be explored and implemented. A great CGO will be ready and eager to dig in!
Full-Time or Fractional CGO
For some companies seeking to hire a Chief Growth Officer, it’s clear that this will be a full-time position. A full-time resource is typically better suited for large companies that have substantial budgets, big staffs to coordinate and a great deal of data to analyze. Not all companies fit this profile, however, and the hiring decision is less obvious for those that don’t.
If a full-time position isn’t warranted, an excellent alternative is a fractional CGO – a part-time employee, contracted consultant or contracted agency. This is a particularly good solution for small to mid-sized companies, companies with more modest marketing budgets and/or those that deliver a simple product. With a fractional CGO, you can have access to the same senior level expertise as your larger competitors do, for a fraction of the cost of a full-time hire.
Salary Range of a Chief Growth Officer
As a member of the C-suite tasked with growing the company, the salary of a Chief Growth Officer should be reflective of other C-level roles. We typically see smaller companies with a CGO base salary range of $150,000- $200,000. Larger companies with more products and reach will start a base salary at $200,000+. In either case, bonuses and commission may be tied to compensation.
Chief Growth Officer Job Description
To hire a Chief Growth Officer, every company will need a slightly different job description depending on industry, type of company, goals and other factors. Here is a template, one that can be adjusted to fit your specific requirements:
Chief Growth Officer Job Description
We are looking for a senior leader to join the ranks of [company] as a Chief Growth Officer. You will be in charge of growth initiatives and collaborate with our marketing, sales and product teams to identify growth opportunities and execute strategies. The CGO reports directly to our CEO.
The right person for this position will be both analytical and creative. He or she will also be entrepreneurial, a self-starter and keen on doing what hasn’t already been done.
- New Growth Strategies – Identify areas of opportunity within [company] for growth. This may include, but is not limited to, growing market share, defining new markets and developing new, complementary or value-added products and services.
- Data Analysis – Analyze market and company data to help identify opportunities for growth. Implement new technology as warranted.
- Product Development – Partner with the product team to build value and competitive advantages for existing and new products and services.
- Marketing – Partner with the marketing team to build compelling and value-driven marketing campaigns. Analyze current marketing efforts to identify gaps, opportunities, efficiencies or inefficiencies.
- Sales – Partner with the sales team to identify and engage new customers. Identity opportunities for up-sell and cross-sell with existing customers.
- Team Coordination – Ensure that sales, marketing and product teams are working cohesively together to achieve goals and synergies.
- Partnerships – Identify partnerships to aid in growth, sales and promotion of [company].
- Measurement and Reporting – Generate quarterly reports for the CEO on growth initiatives and results.
- 10-15 years of leadership experience
- 5 years of experience in marketing, sales and/or product development
- Strong leadership and talent development skills
- Experience managing [enter $ amount] budgets and strong financial management skills
- Experience identifying and growing new markets, products and services
- MBA or master’s degree in marketing, sales or a product-related field
- Experience in [insert industry]
A Process Well Worth the Effort
The process to hire a Chief Growth Officer isn’t always quick or easy, but it’s certainly worth the extra effort. A talented CGO can be a game-changing addition to your organization, one who can bring high growth goals into reach and help your team operate with more cohesion, effectiveness and enthusiasm.
Are you considering a CGO for your growing company?
Give us a call or contact us here. We’d be happy to answer your questions and discuss how Marketri can help!