Creating a personal brand identity

A guide for CMOs: The importance of building a personal brand

As brand visionaries, CMOs harness compelling brand storytelling skills to create a connection between their company and consumers, but very few have invested time to nurture their own personal branding strategy. Jen Veenstra, a Deloitte Consulting LLP managing director, explains how CMOs can use their brand storytelling expertise to build strong personal brand identities.

Creating a personal brand identity creates value

As the nature of marketing continues to change, so does the role of the CMO. Most marketing leaders recognize their role as the spokesperson for their company’s brand ethos, but few take that approach for their own personal branding strategy. Building your personal brand at work can not only make for a better marketer, but it also can make for a better marketing leader.

As of March 2019, chief executives’ average tenure among the S&P 500 was 88 months, compared to just 43 months among CMOs. CMOs with a strong personal brand are typically able to solidify their value to their organization and can open doors to new opportunities, such as speaking engagements, eminence, and awards. The world’s top CMOs drive change at several levels within their organizations, join bigger industry conversations and produce brand purpose while offering perspective on cultural issues that drive business growth.

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Build a strong personal branding strategy

CMOs should identify and capitalize on what skills, strengths, and experiences set them apart, and how they can weave that into a compelling narrative to forge a connection with their company, their employees, and their customers.

Below are several personal branding tips that CMOs should consider when developing a personal brand:

  1. Create a focus for your story.
  2. Articulate your expertise and unique contribution that you bring to an employer.
  3. Align your relevant experience and skills with your target position.
  4. Enable consistent messaging across all channels and resonate with your target audience.
  5. Network effectively.
  • Business social networking sites are powerful tools for creating a personal brand identity. Compelling about/summary profile sections that weave in a powerful narrative, along with relevant articles that align with their organizations’ core values, can position those leaders above the fold.
  • CMOs should build their social business connections to at least 500, develop a strategy to connect with people at target companies that they don’t have prior relationships with, and solicit recommendations from trusted colleagues in order to boost their profile and site presence.

Developing a personal brand can help you articulate real-world ROI that can help strengthen your influence as a trusted thought leader.


Going forward

CMOs creating a personal brand identity should ask themselves critical questions about how they can stand out as a leader and a brand ambassador, including:

  • What are you known for doing better than everyone else? What combination of strengths, skills, and experience do I have that no one else has?
  • What makes you passionate about the work you do and the work that you will do for future employers?
  • Which business problems can you solve? What ROI do you have that makes you the best hiring choice?
  • What achievements have you had in your previous roles that make you stand out?
  • How have you engaged and motivated your people to excel?
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