They build corporate brands, but not their own.
Tom Peters, coauthor of "In Search of Excellence" back in 1982, wrote a lesser known tome', The Brand Called You, in 1997, which was all about the importance of developing a personal brand. Seventeen years later now at a recent CMO club conference there was a personal branding workshop where many of the CMOs in attendance admitted that they haven't taken the time to develop their own personal brands, while dedicating themselves to building their company's brands.
The majority also admitted to having Googled themselves and realized that if they didn't pay attention to their personal profiles, Google had done it for them in most cases more negatively than positively, or inaccurately.
They had the typical explanations for why they hadn't done anything about developing their own personal brands, like not having time, not knowing how, building their CEO's brand instead, and the misguided perception that it was a conflict of interest.
However, they all felt that it was critical to develop their own personal brand so they could market themselves more effectively in the new world of work. It's surprising that marketing experts don't relate to themselves as a product and realize that the 4P's apply to them just as much as the brands that they are building for their employers.
They need to build brand equity in themselves to avoid being at a disadvantage when it matters most in their late '40s or early '50s, if they become unemployed. Given the accelerating changes in technology, consolidations, and advances in mobile marketing, this is a real possibility for many CMOs. Add to this the influence of Big Data and Predictive Analytics, and you have inevitable trends that will impact CMOs and others.
Personal branding is becoming an essential element in career planning today. The sooner anyone gets started on this introspective exercise to determine what you are best at (your unique skill set) and persona, the better off you will be in positioning yourself to optimize the balance of your career doing what you do best and enjoy the most.
A good guide for developing your personal brand is: Personal Brand Planning for life, available on Amazon.