The Chief Marketing Officer Matters!


Journal of Marketing

May 2015, vol. 79, n°3, pp.1-22

Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Chief marketing officer performance implications, Marketing–finance interface, Panel data, Endogeneity, Instrumental variable

Marketing academics and practitioners alike remain unconvinced about the Chief Marketing Officer's (CMO's) performance implications. While some propose that firms benefit financially from having a CMO in the C-Suite, others conclude that the CMO has little or no effect on firm performance. Accordingly, strong calls for additional academic research regarding the CMO's performance implications exist. In response to these calls, we employ model specifications with varying identifying assumptions (i.e., rich data models, unobserved effects models, instrumental variable models, and panel internal instruments models) and use data from up to 155 publically traded firms over a 12 year period (i.e., 2000 – 2011) to find that firms can indeed expect to benefit financially from having a CMO at the strategy table. Specifically, our findings suggest that the performance (measured in terms of Tobin's q) of the sample firms that employ a CMO is, on average, about 15% greater than that of the sample firms that do not employ a CMO. This result appears to be quite robust to the type of model specification used. Marketing academics and practitioners should find our results intriguing given the existing uncertainty surrounding the CMO's performance implications. We also contribute to the methodology literature by collating diverse empirical model specifications, which can be used to model causal effects with observational data, into a coherent and comprehensive framework