CMOs command premium pay in tepid job market. Find out how much CMOs earn

The median total compensation, including long-term incentives, of CMOs has increased by 8 percent in 2024 as companies focus on retaining key executives.

By  Mansi JaswalJun 18, 2024 8:31 AM
CMOs command premium pay in tepid job market. Find out how much CMOs earn
Salary levels depend on the years of experience. If it’s a digital marketing lead, the salary could range between Rs 40-80 lakh per annum, while a CMO would earn between Rs 1.5 and 2 crore per annum.

In an otherwise tepid job market, companies are handing out hefty pay hikes to Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), according to Deloitte India. CMOs / marketing heads play a vital role in driving the company's revenue, brand, product, customer engagement, market research, etc.

Shantanu Rooj, Founder and CEO, TeamLease Edtech, a learning and employability solutions firm says that today, CMOs are more critical than ever. These days, organisations are looking to hire CMOs who are in their early 40s, and have work experience in both offline and online marketing, Shalini Jain, Partner, Consumer Practice, WalkWater Talent Advisors said. She added, "Startups have disrupted hiring trends. They have managed to hire senior marketing folks, sometimes with a minimum wage hike of 4-5 percent or sometimes at the same salary as their previous job, with the promise of wealth creation, about 2 – 4 times the CTC, when an exit happens."

In traditional Indian firms, the median fixed pay for marketing heads / CMOs has reduced by 5 percent, as per the Deloitte India Executive Performance & Rewards Survey, 2023 and 2024 reports. In 2023, the fixed pay of a CMO was around Rs 1.26 crore, which has reduced to Rs 1.20 crore now in 2024. The data analysed by Deloitte was sourced from more than 400 companies across the manufacturing, IT/ITes, financial services, life science, and consumer goods sectors.

However, the median total compensation, including long-term incentives, has increased by 8 percent this year in 2024 as companies focus on retaining key executives, according to the report. The total cost to company (CTC) of CMOs, along with long-term Incentives (LTI), stood at Rs 1.96 crore this year in 2024 compared to Rs 1.81 crore in 2023. Without LTI, the CMO's median CTC stood at Rs 1.58 crore this year, against Rs 1.52 crore in 2023.

The Deloitte report also mentioned that about 40 percent of the total compensation paid to the marketing head / CMO was in the form of variable pay — among the highest variable components across roles.

"We find a much higher compensation premium being given to the CMO in industries such as e-commerce, FMCG, etc., compared to other industries, particularly B2B businesses," said Dinkar Pawan, Director, Deloitte India.

According to Naukri.com, the average CTC of CMOs has grown 13 percent year-on-year, at Rs 6,057,574 in 2024 from Rs 5,289,793 in 2023.

Jain says that salary levels depend on the years of experience. If it’s a digital marketing lead, the salary could range between Rs 40-80 lakh per annum, while a CMO would earn between Rs 1.5 and 2 crore per annum.

In big organisations (turnover between Rs 2,000 — Rs 10,000 crore), there could be a large disparity between a CMO’s salary, and that of his sales counterparts. The CMO could earn anywhere between Rs 2- 4 crore per annum (65 – 70 percent fixed, rest variable) while CSO salaries would be in the range of Rs 1.75 crore to 3 crore per annum, Jain said.

Staffing firm Foundit.in, formerly Monster Jobs, says that the average minimum CTC of a CMO in the retail sector is Rs 2,824,022 while the average maximum CTC is Rs 14,688,295. In the FMCG sector, the average maximum CTC of a CMO is Rs 6,538,350, in IT it is Rs 12,498,120, Rs 15,496,830 in Banking, and in Telecom it is Rs 13,808,975.

First Published on Jun 18, 2024 8:31 AM

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