CMO’s and other corporate executives in similar C Suite roles at 100 of the top U.S. advertising spenders average tenure declined to about 41 months last year, according to The Wall Street Journal. CMO’s are being asked to continually adjust to a digital marketing landscape completely foreign to what was taught to them. So, what are the keys to making any transition a successful one? See our tips below.

Create a Stakeholder’s Game Plan

Knowing who your stakeholders are as you transition is essential, but have you reached out in order to align your priorities? Take the time to sit down and construct a game plan. A game plan can foster stakeholder relations, drive support for your goals and strategy, and avoid spending time on unnecessary and highly inefficient confusion.  

It is essential to align on expectations before accepting the role. Colliding visions and misunderstanding are common threats to achieving the goals set before you. This miscommunication may inhibit your influence and hinder your transition. Fostering relationships within your realm of influence and stakeholders is key to a fluid transition. Use current supportive relationships to win over others.

Practice Analyzing and Align your Talent

In this rapidly changing digital marketing environment we live in today; it is important to keep your team’s skills up to date and on task. Whatever role you end up in, you’ll be managing talent and constantly needing to re-align your team’s skills for success in a fast-paced environment.

Managing talent is not easy, but having the wrong talent in the wrong place proves to be a recurring struggle for the corporate executive in transition. When considering a new role and position, consider your talent philosophy. Leadership is about empowering those skills in your people that bring the whole team to success. And these days, a few of the key skills leaders need to empower are confidence, training opportunities, and flexibility in their team. Have a “talent management” plan to share on your next interview.

Regulate your Time

The nuances and minor details of transitioning into a new job often make it difficult to work towards your vision. Coupled with the time spent in meetings, networking for opportunities, and time spent meeting the people in your new work environment, effectively managing your time becomes a must.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same goes for transitioning. Set a small list of goals and priorities that can be accomplished quickly and capitalize on those early wins. Set deadlines for those goals and piece away enough time to successfully realize them. Then re-evaluate what needs to be done and repeat the process. As an executive at any company, it is imperative to make efficient use of your time – with great power comes great responsibility.

Give Yourself the Time to Decide

Yes, it can seem urgent to make the move or commit to a new position – every opportunity may seem like one you can’t miss! However, you need to give yourself time to thoroughly evaluate the position and understand and embrace the culture of the company.

Most importantly, really understand what the goals of the company are and what success means for your role. It may be a tough decision if you have to say no, but you don’t want to end up in the wrong fit and find yourself fighting an uphill battle that will never stop. You’re interviewing the company and the leadership as much as they are interviewing you.

Sharpen your Marketing Skills

Marketing is ever evolving, and so must the modern CMO and marketing VP. Use this transitional period to freshen up your marketing skills.  Reach out to a past mentor and have a conversation. Read a book you know will teach you something new. Sign up for a digital marketing course. Do some corporate training.  Or pick something else entirely your own. Your transition should be a time of learning for you as well to sharpen the sword!

Being prepared and facing the test of transition head on will ultimately decide your probability for success. Use these keys as a guide to make your transition a positive one. The role of being a corporate executive offers a unique challenge to all who face it. 

How will you overcome the challenge of transition? How have you achieved success through transition? 



The C-Suite Edge is a Fast-Track Learning Org designed for the Current and Aspiring C-Suite Executives. Their current offering includes catered content: Digital Marketing for the C-Suite Executive. See more at