Marketing academics and practitioners alike remain unconvinced about the chief marketing officer’s (CMO’s) performance implications. Whereas some studies propose that firms benefit financially from having a CMO in the C-suite, other studies conclude that the CMO has little or no effect on firm performance. Accordingly, there have been strong calls for additional academic research regarding the CMO’s performance implications. In response to these calls, the authors employ model specifications with varying identifying assumptions (i.e., rich data models, unobserved effects models, instrumental variable models, and panel internal instruments models) and use data from up to 155 publicly traded firms over a 12-year period (2000-2011) to find that firms can indeed expect to benefit financially from having a CMO at the strategy table. Specifically, their findings suggest that the performance (measured in terms of Tobin’s q) of the sample firms that employ a CMO is, on average, approximately 15% greater than that of the sample firms that do not employ a CMO. This result is robust to the type of model specification used. Marketing academics and practitioners should find the results intriguing given the existing uncertainty surrounding the CMO’s performance implications. The study also contributes to the methodology literature by collating diverse empirical model specifications that can be used to model causal effects with observational data into a coherent and comprehensive framework.
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