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What is the Hourly Rate of a CMO? An Overview of CMO Compensation

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) play an integral role in steering a company’s marketing strategy and bolstering business growth. Understanding the hourly rate or overall compensation of a CMO can help businesses better budget and plan for this high-level role. This article breaks down the hourly rate of a CMO and factors that influence their compensation.

Understanding CMO Compensation

A CMO’s compensation can vary greatly depending on various factors such as the company’s size, industry, location, and the individual’s experience and skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2021, top executives, including CMOs, earned a median annual wage of $185,950. Given a standard 40-hour work week, this translates to approximately $89.50 per hour. However, this figure can fluctuate based on the factors mentioned earlier.

Factors Influencing a CMO’s Hourly Rate

Company Size and Industry: Larger companies or those in high-profit industries typically offer higher compensation for CMOs.

Location: Geographic location also impacts a CMO’s pay, with those in urban areas or regions with a high cost of living usually earning more.

Experience and Skills: The more experience and specialized skills a CMO has, the higher their potential pay.

Performance Metrics: Some CMOs may have performance-based compensation, meaning their pay could increase based on the success of their marketing strategies.

Fractional CMO Hourly Rate

If a full-time CMO is beyond your budget, a Fractional CMO can be an effective alternative. Fractional CMOs offer their services on a part-time or contract basis and can provide high-level expertise without the high costs associated with a full-time executive. According to various industry sources, as of 2021, the hourly rate for a Fractional CMO can range from $150 to $500, depending on their experience and the scope of work.


Understanding the hourly rate of a CMO is crucial when planning your business’s budget and marketing strategy. Whether you’re considering a full-time CMO or a Fractional CMO, having a clear understanding of these costs can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your business’s resources and goals.

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About Lilach Bullock

Hi, I’m Lilach, a serial entrepreneur! I’ve spent the last 2 decades starting, building, running, and selling businesses in a range of niches. I’ve also used all that knowledge to help hundreds of business owners level up and scale their businesses beyond their beliefs and expectations.

I’ve written content for authority publications like Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc, Twitter, Social Media Examiner and 100’s other publications and my proudest achievement, won a Global Women Champions Award for outstanding contributions and leadership in business.

My biggest passion is sharing knowledge and actionable information with other business owners. I created this website to share my favorite tools, resources, events, tips, and tricks with entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, small business owners, and startups. Digital marketing knowledge should be accessible to all, so browse through and feel free to get in touch if you can’t find what you’re looking for!


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