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Success in marketing isn't merely about chance—it involves cultivating the right habits and mindsets that propel Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) to the top. Having positive daily, weekly, or monthly habits builds consistency in behaviors that support success. In fact, a study done by VitalSmarts found that 46% of workers attributed their career success to having the right habits.

But what are the right habits?

To find out, I spoke to ten seasoned marketing leaders to uncover the strategies, mindsets, and routines that distinguish top-tier CMOs from the rest. A few common themes arose around communication skills, team collaboration, data-driven decision-making, and constant learning, but I’ll share all the little secrets so you can apply their magic to your own career trajectory.

Daily Success Habits

Many successful marketing professionals prioritize daily rituals to optimize their productivity and overall well-being. From screen-free mornings to meditation and journaling, these habits help cultivate focus and creativity.

1. Creating Time for Self

One daily habit mentioned to me several times was creating time for one’s self, allowing the prioritization of work-life balance and self-care routines through little things like delaying email checks, enjoying morning rituals, and sitting in moments of stillness to enhance both productivity and creativity. As Sarah Jane Owen, Sr Director of Global Marketing at Ryvid, shared with me,

I don’t immediately read emails when I wake up. Whatever is waiting can wait another 20mins! I like to start and end my days screen-free.

Naturally, this is often easier said than done, particularly for busy executives who work with clients or colleagues around the globe. Different time zones add another layer of complexity and often means someone has been waiting on a response from you sometimes hours before you even wake up.

In this case, it’s imperative that you create healthy boundaries that are instilled daily, as Natalie Eng, Co-Founder at Aralia Creative, does:

Morning coffee, skincare routine, and any self/life admin are my pretty non-negotiables before starting client work. We have several clients in the US, so our time zones can be skewed, and therefore mornings are extra sanctimonious

But don’t worry if your mornings are hectic—busy days get away even from the best of us. If you get caught up in the chaos of work before you’ve had a chance to set yourself up for success, it’s never too late to schedule it in. Everyone has ten minutes somewhere in the day where they can rest and reset.

As Elmira Abushayeva, CMO and Co-Founder at Mavuus told me, “I enjoy taking 5-10 minutes each day to sit in stillness to calm my mind and foster the flow of creative ideas. I also read one or two articles to educate myself about something new in marketing that I didn't know about.”

2. Meditation and Journaling

For Marketing Consultant Chanelle Leslie, carving out moments for personal reflection means embracing a simple yet powerful ritual each morning: “10 minutes of meditation within 30 minutes of waking is easy enough not to put off, and I notice that when I do this I'm able to be more present and thoughtful throughout the day." she shares.

As the day draws to a close, Chanelle further emphasizes the importance of reflection and planning.

At the end of the day, I set priorities for the next day. This takes far less effort than setting my priorities at the beginning of the day since all the things I'm juggling are already on my mind.

Similarly, Chloe Cassecuelle, Co-Founder of Aralia Creative, approaches her daily routine with a keen focus on self-care and productivity. "My daily morning routine involves meditation, journaling, and a workout to stay grounded," she reveals. "Additionally, I start each day with a check-in voice message with my co-founder, Natalie, to organize our daily workflow."

They both understand the value of intentional living, weaving moments of mindfulness and reflection into their daily lives. By prioritizing self-care and setting clear intentions, busy executives can cultivate an environment where creativity, productivity, and overall well-being thrive.

3. Exercising to Stay Sharp

Intending to improve mental clarity, resilience, and overall well-being, another daily habit mentioned by a number of CMOs was maintaining a consistent commitment to physical activity. Tracy Wehringer, Chief Marketing Officer at Moonshot Strategy, explains the significance of this in her daily routine:

To keep myself sharp and centered, I dedicate time each day for exercise. This personal practice is not only about physical health but also about maintaining mental clarity and resilience, enabling me to lead effectively.

Similarly, Monu Kalsi, Vice President and Head of Marketing at Millennium Physician Group, prioritizes physical fitness as a means to stay alert throughout the day: "On a personal level, I ensure I walk 2-3 miles daily and work out regularly to stay sharp and energetic," Kalsi shares. 

Natalie Eng, whom I mentioned earlier, also adopts a multifaceted approach to wellness, blending various forms of exercise and meditation into her regimen.

During my week I try to exercise with mainly yoga & barre 2-3 times x week and meditate in the sauna once a week to keep myself feeling good and sane

Ultimately, these individuals understand the importance of staying active for both their physical and mental well-being. By incorporating exercise and mindfulness practices into their daily lives, they build a foundation of wellness that not only supports their professional success but enhances quality of life.

4. Reading the News

Staying in the know with what's happening globally and within your industry isn't just a box to check. Ellie Stamouli, Marketing Strategy Director at Aenae Ltd explains her daily habit: 

I get an update on key global news from The Know and the Guardian and stay up to date with industry and business news through Marketing Week, McKinsey, my LinkedIn network, and Raisin Bread.

Given the dynamic nature of marketing, being well-informed on global trends gives insight into marketing campaign messaging. She explains, “Things in marketing evolve constantly, so staying abreast of new trends and understanding consumer sentiment is important so that the messaging of our campaigns remains relevant and engaging.”

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5. Team Priority and Blocker Checks

Once you arrive at the office, there's one daily habit that really can’t be ignored: the team check-in. For many marketing leaders, each morning they gather their teams to set the tone for the day ahead. Tracy Wehringer shares:

I start every day with a 15-minute stand-up meeting with my leadership team, a practice inspired by the Rockefeller habits. This time is crucial for setting the tone of the day as this daily ritual ensures alignment, fosters a culture of open communication and keeps the team focused on our most critical objectives

But what exactly is being discussed during these huddle meetings? Tracy explains that key topics include, “reviewing our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), addressing any immediate concerns or ‘red alerts’, and celebrating our recent achievements.”  

Similarly, Rebecca Tall Brown, Director of Strategy at Pace Communications, explains the importance of accessibility and flexibility within her daily routine:

We let folks work on their to-dos, with my only question being, ‘are there any blocks or priority shifts we need to be aware of?’ My team knows that on my calendar anything marked "tentative" is fair game for them to schedule a meeting for any issues that pop up.

Such fluidity not only nurtures efficiency but also promotes a sense of empowerment among team members. Tracy Southers-Parker, Fractional CMO at Profit Finder Marketing, echoes this with a "quick check-in on all campaigns & projects to monitor progress and determine if adjustments need to be made."

Whether it's keeping everyone on the same page, making sure everyone is accountable, or giving the flexibility to adapt, these daily check-ins are crucial habits for team success.

Weekly Success Habits

In terms of weekly success habits, the marketing executives I spoke with expressed how they like to make time for thorough planning sessions, progress-tracking meetings, updates for stakeholders, and the celebration of team achievements. While a select few opted to hold their team check-ins weekly as opposed to daily, most chose to review numbers at this cadence.

6. Writing a To-Do List

Weekly to-do list creation was underscored by professionals who prioritize organization and stress reduction, allowing them to maintain focus and productivity throughout the week. For Natalie Eng, starting off the week with a to-do list is a must: "Checking in at the start of each week with a to-do list is essential to keeping my brain organized with everything we have going on."

And for Monu Kalsi, Sundays are his preferred day to organize:

I'm a planner, dedicating a couple of hours on Sundays to plan the week, reviewing meetings, addressing pending emails, and creating a prioritized action list. This proactive approach minimizes stress and keeps me on track.

And while you don’t necessarily need to do this on Sundays as Monu does, you should consider trying the to-do list out for yourself. As it turns out, there are a lot of CMOs who regularly rely on this method.

According to an online survey performed by ToDoList Blog (which polled 600 people), 96% said their lives are better with to-do lists, 89% said they enjoy making lists, and 28% identified as obsessive listmakers.

7. Progress Reports

Weekly progress reports and meetings are also utilized to assess performance, track goals, and make strategic adjustments, ensuring accountability and optimal results. For Rebecca Tall Brown, the bi-weekly progress reports serve as a crucial checkpoint:

We have progress reports, and every two weeks we have a sense of performance. I find that if you can't get a sizable amount of work done in a two-week sprint, we have something at play that might need coaching and a specific plan to address.

Weekly internal marketing meetings are habits that are quite crucial as they allow teams to track progress toward goals and review metrics. When speaking with Tracy Southers-Parker, she explained the tactical side of these meetings, using weekly action plan reviews: "I review an action plan with the team on Monday to ensure assignments are understood and deadlines will be met."

For Elmira Abushayeva, weekly check-ins serve as a platform for continuous improvement and customer understanding:

I conduct check-ins with my team to assess what is effective, identify areas for improvement, and collaboratively adjust our priorities to achieve optimal results. Additionally, I review reports detailing the onboarding of new customers, meticulously examining their profiles to gain a comprehensive understanding of our audience.

8. Updating Stakeholders

Weekly stakeholder updates are also crucial, often involving custom-built reports and streamlined communication methods to ensure transparency, alignment, and informed decision-making among team members. Ellie Stamouli underscored the importance of detailed campaign KPI reviews:

I review campaign KPIs utilizing custom-built reports that show both granular and high-level data. This data, presented through visual graphs and color-coded pivot tables, is shared with my team and senior stakeholders. By delving deep into the nuances of the data, I can discern underlying trends and formulate strategies accordingly.

Highlighting the efficiency of cross-departmental update emails, Chanelle Leslie explains: "Cross-departmental update emails have become my go-to. In the past, weekly meetings with heads of departments tended to be long and not the best use of everybody's time. Nowadays, I find an email summarizing what marketing is working on and highlighting any potential issues serve the same purpose in much less time. I meet with my coach to discuss all things management & leadership, and she gives me at least one new tactic to try."

9. Celebrating Wins

Thankfully, not every part of the weekly routine needs to be nose-to-the-grindstone with numbers and reports. Weekly celebrations of achievements are also common, ranging from acknowledging small victories to fostering a culture of aspiration and collaboration, which aim to promote morale and success.

Sarah Jane Owen shared with me how she emphasizes the importance of recognizing team accomplishments:

I note down my team's achievements from the week, in a running list of small, medium, and large feats. It’s important to remember the smaller items that made larger ones possible, and to also have a record of the team's continued success, outside of just numbers.

Similarly, Rebecca Tall Brown outlines their weekly rituals for team upliftment: "Our weekly efforts include individual 1:1s (usually on Fridays) that set us up for the week ahead. We'll also focus on a genuine win from the week (albeit casually). We also encourage asynchronous inspirational channels that encourage people to share big, dream big, to think bigger."

10. One-On-Ones

Of course, weekly one-on-one meetings with team members, consultants, and freelancers also serve as vital habits, as doing so tracks individual (as opposed to team) progress, address blockers, and align priorities with broader goals, fostering effective communication and support within the marketing team.

When speaking with Tracy Wehringer, she explained:

Every week, I hold one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders. These sessions are essential for tracking progress on specific projects, identifying and removing blockers, and providing tailored support and guidance. It’s a time for deep dives into individual contributions and ensuring alignment with broader goals.

Going further, Monu Kalsi says that he “holds 1x1 meetings with the leadership team and conducts a weekly operational sync with direct reports” to ensure operational efficiency. 

The point of these one-on-ones allow marketing professionals to get a better sense of the deliverables that are being actioned. As Chanelle Leslie puts it “1:1s with direct reports allows me to learn their priorities for the week and gives me insight on whether to adjust if necessary.” 

Monthly Success Habits

Now in terms of monthly success habits, the marketing executives I spoke with had a tendency to exhibit habits that include detailed reporting and analysis, progress checks on annual goals, forward-thinking planning, gathering feedback from team members, in-person networking, and hosting educational events.

11. KPI & Metric Reporting

For this monthly habit, setting new goals, reviewing prior achievements, and assembling detailed reports to track progress to inform strategic decisions is essential for ensuring continuous improvement. Natalie Eng sheds light:

At the beginning of every month, my co-founder and I set new goals for our agency and review the prior month's goals/accomplishments. We also do monthly reporting for the metrics of each our clients so they can see their own accomplishments being hit.

Monthly reporting is of course very important in marketing to track and measure success. For Tracy Wehringer, she explains how “each month culminates in the assembly of a detailed report of our campaign metrics. This document not only tracks our progress but also identifies opportunities for refinement or strategic pivoting in the upcoming month. It’s a crucial tool for continuous improvement and sustained success.” 

Alternatively for some, reporting is often the conversation starter within the C-Suite. As Tracy Southers-Parker says, she “presents a report to the CEO with action items completed, KPI stats and upcoming initiatives.” 

12. Progress Check on Annual Goals

Along with monthly reporting, executive-level marketing professionals often include monthly progress checks on annual goals. This involves assessing alignment with long-term priorities, fostering strategic alignment and collaboration within the team, and overall ensuring continuous improvement.

Sarah Jane Owen sends summaries and round-ups to help create alignment.

I check how we’re tracking against the next 12 months of priorities, if there are any concerns on timelines or capabilities. I also use my weekly achievement list to write a monthly email for other leaders, that is accompanied by campaign metrics.

The importance of strategic alignment cannot be understated. Tracy Wehringer explains: “I bring the entire team together to review our Year-to-Date, Quarter-on-Quarter, and Month-on-Month KPIs. This comprehensive review serves as a strategic alignment session, ensuring everyone understands our trajectory, celebrates our wins, and recognizes areas requiring adjustment or improvement.”

As you can see by now, most habits involve team collaboration. Even Monu Kalsi prioritizes monthly reviews with his team. In these sessions, he explains how the team spends time:

analyzing progress against our plan, reviewing business KPIs, assessing marketing campaign performance, and discussing employee engagement and budget. I also facilitate monthly touch point meetings with senior leadership and peers to ensure alignment and collaboration.

13. Goal Setting

Another monthly habit involves goal setting. And this isn't just about jotting down aspirations, but rather a whole journey of forward-thinking planning and team empowerment. It involves mapping out the path ahead while also taking a good look back to see what worked and what didn't.

Ellie Stamouli dives into their monthly planning process by:

engaging in forward-thinking planning, projecting two months ahead. This involves a comprehensive analysis of what worked well and what didn’t in the same period last year, competitor activity, as well as consideration of key moments for the customer.

While this can seem time-consuming, there are many software and tools available to help streamline the process. She explains, “Leveraging tools such as, Assembly, and Google Sheets streamline everything, ensuring our plans are not only strategic but also meticulously organized.”

For others, curiosity and the taste for learning drive the goal-setting habit. Rebecca Tall Brown explains that “each person on my team has some sort of "reach" or "visibility" project they're responsible for. I want new tactics reviewed, applied to new clients, or new audiences explored - our goal is to get that in front of both leadership and the team, to help keep curiosity and ongoing learning moving forward.” For this to be truly effective, she believes:

being genuinely enthusiastic and making even small spaces for self-generated motivation of individual interests helps keep the spark of engagement lit even during compressed work periods.

14. Gathering Feedback

Another monthly routine and great management tip involves feedback sessions, as creating space for open communication can bring about fresh ideas and perspectives. Chanelle Leslie highlights the importance of gathering feedback:

direct reports will typically keep feedback to themselves unless we as managers step up and ask them directly for it. I purposefully make time for this once a month because it's so easy to forget to do - but absolutely imperative.

While it sounds like a simple habit, it’s something to be conscious of, as nobody likes time wasted. With making time for feedback sessions, you can easily get ahead of issues. 

15. In-Person Networking

For others, monthly in-person networking is a habit, which involves attending events alongside other senior marketing leaders and executives of all stripes to gain insights and stay informed about industry trends and perspectives.

For Elmira Abushayeva, in-person networking allows her to:

connect with a few senior marketing leaders to discuss what’s top of mind and share ideas to stay abreast of the dynamic landscape of marketing.

A good tip to go with this is to expand attending other industry-type events, as you never know what type of connection you may make and it could be life-changing. She elaborates: “I also connect with executive non-marketing leaders from other companies to gain insights into their perspectives on marketing and to understand their specific needs."

16. Lunch and Learns

The habit of setting monthly "Lunch and Learns" is not just an average lunch where you catch up with your colleagues, but an opportunity for both bonding and brain-boosting. Tracy Wehringer explains how:

These sessions are designed not just for team bonding, but also for educational enrichment, focusing on understanding what’s next from a technological perspective.

These sessions allow team members to discuss emerging trends, tools, and techniques that could impact strategies and operations. “These gatherings encourage continuous learning and innovation, ensuring we stay ahead in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Quarterly Success Habits

As we near the end of this article and round up our success habits of accomplished executives, we arrive at those that are done on a quarterly basis. These more infrequent habits among marketing professionals include strategic planning sessions and business reviews to summarize achievements. 

17. Strategic Planning

In the grand scheme of things, quarterly strategic planning is like charting the course for the next phase of the entire journey. Performed every three months, this often involves developing plans with clear objectives. Tracy Southers-Parker often has:

strategic planning sessions with the team to develop a 90-day action plan, which includes monthly objectives, weekly tasks, and KPIs.

A popular alternative is hosting quarterly business reviews (QBRS) which give execs like Monu Kalsi the ability to “summarize achievements, discuss areas for improvement, and align focus for the next quarter. These meetings foster candid feedback and ensure alignment on strategic priorities and investments.”

18. Breaking Bad Habits

Lastly, taking time to acknowledge some of the bad habits that may be exhibited in a team on a quarterly basis can also be helpful, as it can quickly resolve challenges or issues. Done too frequently and it may feel like you’re nagging your team, or not allowing enough time for change. On the other hand, sometimes change simply means getting out of your own way.

Rebecca Tall Brown utilizes the first three months of working together with team members to:

help anyone prone to overthinking break the habit of working in isolation because they "can't find an answer". I spent far too much time as a younger professional spinning my wheels. Building a work team that can help quickly pull folks out of "stuck" energy is imperative to momentum.

Success Habits Don’t Form Overnight

Marketing leaders develop success habits by committing to small, consistent actions over time. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks and put strategy on the back burner, but carving out time for big-picture thinking and mindfulness make it easier to take on the day and combat imposter syndrome.

For many marketing leaders, their habits focus on fostering a collaborative culture, empowering their teams to take ownership, and celebrating collective wins. Additionally, CMOs and marketing leaders tend to have a “never stop learning” attitude, empowering their teams to always improve. These habits involve diving into industry insights, staying abreast of emerging trends, and continuously seeking out opportunities for professional growth.

With dedication in mind, you too can form personal and professional habits that help you level up in your career. Make sure to subscribe to The CMO Newsletter so you can receive the latest top tips in your inbox.

Melissa Ariganello
By Melissa Ariganello

Melissa is a seasoned social media strategist and marketer who was recently awarded the Independent Consultant Award by Women in Marketing Community Interest Company. With a deep passion for understanding the ever-evolving digital landscape, she has developed expertise in leveraging social and content platforms to drive engagement and business growth.