The 7 Marketing Styles or Personas: Does Your Team Have Them All Covered?

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The 7 Marketing Styles or Personas: Does Your Team Have Them All Covered?

The 7 Marketing Styles or Personas:  Does Your Team Have Them All Covered?

Commentary and Excerpt Re Article in CMO Magazine:  “No Marketer Is An Island: Meet The 7 Personas Of The Modern CMO

Marketing as a discipline these days calls for a broad range of personal styles, temperaments, or personas.  Any CEO, Founder, Small Business Owner, or Marketing Manager may have strengths in more than one area.  But a weak spot can hurt your company’s prospects for growth or market leadership.  Does your team have all the functions covered?

This article will help you identify where your strengths are, and perhaps reveal an area where you could benefit from some help from an Outsourced Marketing Professional.

Does your team have all the functions covered?

7 CMO Personas
The modern CMO must be good at so many things–yet I don’t know anyone who can do them all at the highest level of competency. Rather, I see seven CMO personas most commonly in business today. I haven’t seen anyone take a stab at naming the personas, so here is my take.


• The Thought Leader: These executives are out in the field, speaking and evangelizing for their brand. They’re great at creating a category and telling stories that engage new listeners. These are often authors, writers, speakers, and visionaries.


• The Growth Hacker: I call this the “demand-gen CMO.” This CMO goes deep into Excel spreadsheets to drive bottom-up demand-gen programs. They almost always come from marketing ops, demand gen, or even finance.


• The Product Marketer: A tech background is no longer a nice-to-have but a central part of the CMO’s role. The product marketer is someone who is fluent in speaking the language of tech and can translate the technical jargon to connect with the customer’s purpose and needs. This includes everything from pricing and packaging to messaging and analyst relations. This is often the secret weapon of the modern marketer.


• The Brand Marketer: This person is responsible for how the industry perceives the company and its brand. Their strengths lie in developing the overall brand look, feel, and design. We often see these leaders come from CPG or consumer tech companies.


• The Strategist: Almost like a chief strategy officer, this person is great at understanding where the company’s solution fits in the market, what key strategic moves to make, and how to approach important decisions. They are responsible for driving strategic partnerships and moving the needle in big ways.


• The Culture Builder: Known for building culture, this person engages employees in the mission of the business and rallies teams to achieve departmental goals together. It’s not likely that a CMO would come from HR, but, rather, these leaders emerge from marketing executives who have a deep passion for leadership, people development, etc.


• The All-Around Athlete: This is the ideal modern CMO, but good luck finding one. Finding a CMO with a strong competency with each persona is like finding a unicorn to invest in at the seed stage. My point is that the best CMOs can have the chops to be dangerous in each persona, but they can only become exceptional by leveraging their strengths as a marketing leader and building a cohesive team who can complement their areas of weakness. As such, the best CMOs double as world-class team builders.


Get Real: When hiring a CMO, I have noticed CEOs sometimes falsely assume they are hiring an all-around athlete. Both the CEO and CMO need to be brutally honest about where their strengths lie and where they should hire. No one person can do it all, but one team can–a team that makes up all the personas that the ideal CMO must possess…  In my experience, exceptional communication skills, financial acumen, strong tech knowledge, the ability to recruit, prioritization, and adaptability to change are among the most important qualities of an outstanding CMO. However, no one gets there overnight. CMOs need to be patient with what skills they can develop over time compared with what they need to contribute immediately. (Kopp, T 2017)

If your team has a weak spot, then you can train for it, staff for it, or hire an Outsourced Marketing Professional who can help you fill the missing link.  Outsourced Marketing Professionals can help you up your game more quickly than somebody playing outside their own talent set.  Outsourced Marketing Professionals are able to serve on a project, contract, or ongoing basis.  Either way, an Outsourced Marketing Professional costs less than staffing a position and gets you moving forward faster than a training program.

Of these 7 Marketing Arenas, my own strengths are: The Thought Leader; The Growth Hacker; The Product Marketer; The Brand Marketer; and The Strategist.  If you need help in any of these areas, maybe we should talk?

Commentary By Lonn Dugan
BIG Marketing Solutions LLC


Kopp, T 2017:  “No Marketer Is An Island: Meet The 7 Personas Of The Modern CMO” CMO Magazine, Published by Adobe, retrieved online May 1, 2017 from

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