Chief Markerting Officer vs Marketing Director: What is the difference?

chief marketing officers course

If you aim to bring a change in your marketing department, then you must understand the meaning and differences between the two positions- Chief Marketing Officer and Marketing Director.

The common misconception is that these two titles are interchangeable. While there are some similarities, the two roles are fairly different. If you aspire to learn digital marketing and explore a career in the same, then you must be acquainted with what these roles mean. 

Let’s first go through the overview and key responsibilities of each role and then look at some key points to analyse the differences.

Chief Marketing Officer- Overview

A Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) supervises all marketing operations for a company. The ‘C’ in CMO implies engagement at the leadership level. CMOs manage multiple teams, including product, brand, social media, SEO research, PPO, and more. The number of teams and departments that CMOs can handle depends on the company’s size.

They significantly contribute to a company’s growth by managing responsibilities that range from framing business strategy to creative influences. Their role entails more than just revenue generation. They must lay the strategic base for your marketing department to implement effective strategies and fuel long-term growth. Some of their key skills include growth driver, marketing expert, customer champion in chief, and chief storyteller.

Following the significance of their roles, CMOs are handsomely paid. On average, a CMO in India annually earns around INR 22,82,813.

Key job responsibilities of a Chief Marketing Officer:

  • Administer a company’s overall long-term marketing strategy
  • Work with the stakeholders or CEO to make sure business and marketing goals are fulfilled
  • Lead various areas of marketing teams, including research, brand, PPC, SEO, social media, etc.
  • Develop the framework of the business’ marketing sections.
  • Conceptualising innovative marketing projects
  • Guiding teams to effectively use marketing mediums
  • Ascertaining that the company’s services fulfil the client’s requirements and company’s standards
  • Establish relationships with new clients to yield sales
  • Governing the creation of services for a marketing campaign

Availing dedicated digital marketing training can help you learn the relevant skills to handle the aforementioned responsibilities.

Marketing Director -Overview

A senior-level administrator who oversees a company’s overall marketing strategy is called a Marketing Director. They work with other personnel of the executive team to create and execute marketing plans that fulfil the company’s objectives.

Usually, they lead a particular team, department, or facet of the responsibilities that a marketing department is assigned.

Considering the significance of their job role, Marketing Directors in India receive around INR 25,81,617 on average per annum.

Key job responsibilities of a Marketing Director

  • Plan and implement a marketing strategy for diverse products/services
  • Supervise teams to ensure standards and deadlines are fulfilled
  • Determine an annual marketing budget

Marketing Director vs Chief Marketing Officer

Perhaps, both CMOs and Marketing Directors may be responsible for executing marketing strategies and campaigns. However, there are certain prominent differences between these roles. Let’s explore the differences between them.

Chief Marketing Director (CMO) Marketing Director
A CMO’s role is quite wider than that of a Marketing Director. They need to think and execute more strategically than a Marketing Director. A CMO is the head of the marketing department. A Marketing Director is more specialised in a dedicated area of the marketing team, for example, SEO, PPC, or social media.
A CMO supervises multiple teams in a marketing department. A Marketing Director manages a team of marketing professionals.
CMOs are accountable for developing the entire marketing strategy for the company, in which Marketing Directors define their strategies and work towards fulfilling certain goals. Marketing Directors create the strategy for a specific goal or a marketing function, for example, revenue generation.
Typically, CMOs have a bigger budget to work with than Marketing Directors. So, it allows them to capitalise on more expensive marketing proposals, for example, national advertising campaigns.  Typically, Marketing Directors have a smaller budget than CMOs.
Usually, CMOs directly report to the CEO. Usually, Marketing Directors report to the CMO or other senior executives.
Commonly, CMOs are fascinated by working as a public relations manager to supervise an organisation's profile.  Marketing directors utilise their analytical knowledge and research background as market research analysts to learn what buyers need most and ways to respond to them.


To grow your business, you will need help from a CMO or a Marketing Director. The choice among the two depends on your specific business requirements.

While if you’re willing to thrive in your career as a Chief Marketing Officer,  you can go for the Post Graduate Certificate Programme For Emerging Chief Marketing Officers provided by Imarticus. It is a cutting-edge IIM Indore CMO program designed for budding leaders and Chief Marketing Officers. Its comprehensive curriculum imparts operational, strategic, and technological leadership skills among future business leaders.

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