The Agile CMO: Spearheading Change in a High-Growth Business

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, high-growth companies face unique challenges. To thrive in this dynamic environment, they need a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) who thinks differently, spearheads change, and embodies agility.  

Utilising our PACE behavioural evaluation tool we are able to identify the behavioural traits most commonly found in a high performing CMO.  

Thinking Differently:

In a high-growth business, being curious is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. The CMO must have a strategic mindset that goes beyond marketing campaigns. They need to understand the intricacies of the business, its industry, and its competitive landscape. This broader perspective enables them to identify growth opportunities and navigate the company toward them. 

Thinking differently also involves embracing innovation and staying ahead of industry trends. High-growth businesses must constantly evolve, and the CMO plays a pivotal role in driving innovation across the organisation. Curious CMOs foster a culture of experimentation, embrace new approaches and technologies and encourage their team to explore new ideas. 

Spearheading Change:

Change is a constant in high-growth companies so the ability to adapt is a key behaviour of a CMO. Whether it’s expanding into new markets, launching new products, or adapting to evolving customer preferences, the CMO must be at the forefront of these transformations. They are not just responsible for marketing these changes; they are instrumental in orchestrating them. 

To spearhead change effectively, the CMO should be a visionary leader who can rally their colleagues and peers around a common goal.  

Embracing Agility:

In high-growth businesses, agility is not optional; it’s a core competency. The CMO must lead by example, demonstrating the ability to pivot swiftly in response to market shifts, emerging trends, or unforeseen challenges. Agility involves making data-driven decisions, quickly adapting strategies, and being open to experimentation. 

Within a fast-paced SME the CMO should foster a culture of agility within the marketing department and across the organisation. An agile CMO ensures that the company can respond promptly to changing customer needs and competitive pressures. 


In high-growth businesses, the role of the CMO is multifaceted and dynamic. They must think differently, spearhead change, embrace agility, all whilst championing the voice of the customer. By doing so, they become not just marketers but strategic leaders who play a pivotal role in propelling the company forward.

At Rowan our Growth team regularly work on Executive Search assignments for high-growth businesses searching for a CMO. If you think your business is lacking a CMO, or your leadership team has a skills gap, get in touch with a member of our team today to see how we can help.