Sep 16, 2008

My new favorite job title is "Chief Mom Officer": an interview with Jessica Smith

You may have noticed the new icon in the "Communities" section at the bottom of the right sidebar, denoting me as a contributor to Blissfully Domestic's Financial Bliss section. BD is an online magazine with a ton of posts every day on a wide variety of topics. One that caught my eye last week was an announcement of a weekly column from "Chief Mom Officer" Jessica Smith. I was so intrigued by her title that I asked Jessica if she'd answer a few questions, and she graciously obliged:

What does a Chief Mom Officer do, and how did the position come to be? Did you create it, and are there more CMOs out there?

Jessica: As a Chief Mom Officer, I am responsible for marketing, business development, and community management for the social shopping site's Baby channel. The title was the idea of Wishpot Co-founder, Max Ciccotosto, because he wanted to make sure that our mom members would know that a mom was at the helm, so to speak. There are and will be more CMOs out there. is currently in the midst of hiring one as we speak. And I've got some things going on behind the scenes to create more opportunities like this one so stay tuned. A more detailed account of how I was hired, what I do, and what to expect can be found at my site

What do you do as CMO on an average day? How many hours do you work each week?

Jessica: Every day is different. I spend my time talking on the phone with potential strategic partners, managing the guest blog posts on the Wishpot Baby blog, recruiting new Baby Experts, getting valuable feedback from our Baby Experts, and being a champion for the Wishpot Baby users to the leadership team in Seattle. I work 15 flexible, family-friendly hours a week for Wishpot. I am also the Celebrity Business blogger at and I update my personal blog, regularly.

What is the average salary range for a CMO?

Jessica: That's a question I get a lot these days as more moms become interested in this type of role and companies are seeing the value a role like this can add to their organization. Here's the deal: the pay should be comparable to what the same role would make in the brick and mortar world. I'm paid hourly based on my experience and the results that are expected from me. In return, I am accountable to Wishpot and like any other position I would hold, virtual or not, I strive to exceed expectations.

What is your professional background, i.e., what qualifies you to be a CMO?

Jessica: I have eight years professional experience in business development, marketing, sales, and recruiting. I've always leveraged technology and the web throughout my career. I got my first Prodigy account when I was in middle school. It is truly a dream come true to marry my professional experience with what has always been my passion - the web, social media, and social networking.

What advice would you give someone who wants to become a CMO? How should she get started, especially if her background is not the same as yours?

Jessica: I'd say the best way to promote yourself as the ideal Chief Mom Officer would be to promote the people and ideas you are most passionate about. Don't be afraid to show your enthusiasm but don't force yourself to be an evangelist for something you don't genuinely believe in. People will see through it. You need to do more than talk about your experience or the value you can add. Demonstrate it. Get involved in communities that you are drawn to in the mom niche and engage in conversation. Marketing is all about relationships. Again stay tuned, as I have made it my personal mission to do whatever I can to get more moms in this type of role.

If your readers have any additional questions that I didn't answer here they can visit my column at the Digital Bliss channel on Blissfully Domestic and send me their questions. I'll be answering them weekly.

Note: You can read Jessica's weekly column here. Thanks again for your time, Jessica!


Mercedes said...

Hi Cathy,
Maybe it's because I am sick but I still don't get it. Do you promote yourself to companies to be a Chief Mom Officer?

Unknown said...

Welcome to Blissfully Domestic.

How fun you already found someone to connect with!

Anonymous said...

Great interview!!!

We are super excited that Jessica gave us the opportunity to work with her to find our Chief Mom Officer!! We can't wait until we get the chance to empower a MOM in this position!

Chief Family Officer said...

@Mercedes - I think Jessica is saying that that's one way of doing it (the other being that companies like Babyspot will seek out CMOs). Basically, it's like everything else - if you really want the position, and you think you could really contribute to a company's bottom line, then you could try convincing the company that it should hire you for this job. :)

@James - I look forward to seeing the results of your job search!