A Good Chief Marketing Officer Drives Topline Growth. A Great One Drives the Bottom-Line, Too.
Consider hiring a fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
The common definition of marketing is “activities that enable, drive and accelerate the sale of your product or service.” What business would not want or need that, right? However, the role and capabilities of marketing are often misunderstood, which creates barriers to generating strong results.
Companies face two common dilemmas when it comes to marketing:
- Marketing is expensive so they want to spend as little as possible on it.
- It is challenging to know which marketing efforts are really working and which ones are not.
The results of operating under these assumptions are avoidance, inaction, and/or missed opportunities.
The first step toward ending avoidance is to understand that effective marketing leadership:
- Has the seasoning to understand the customer, how to link their needs to business goals, and how to understand what tools can effectively drive desired customer behaviors.
- Has depth of experience across multiple businesses to understand what it takes to drive sales, growth, and ROI.
- Works seamlessly with business owners or leaders to translate business goals to marketing requirements and lead both internal and external resources to cost-effectively achieve them.
If or when small to medium-sized companies decide to “deploy” marketing activities, these often come without leadership. It is the lack of strong marketing leadership that separates the good businesses from the great ones.
Targeting the wrong prospects, products that miss the mark on customer needs or wants, messages that are not motivating or do not reflect the true value of your product, and wasting financial or human resources on activities that do not impact your business are underlying marketing problems that will affect the health of your business and limit your ability to grow if you do not have an effective marketing leadership.
Sometimes, the need for stronger marketing leadership is obvious like with a startup or turnarounds. Other times, it may be tempting to simply hire a tactical expert such as an ad agency, a social media specialist, or a website developer to implement marketing for you. While any of these three options can generate activity and deliver content, they often come with a high cost. In addition, it is questionable or difficult to quantify the impact to your business if they are not correctly managed and given the right direction.
An effective marketing leader will:
ASSESS current gaps in your business and define the role marketing and sales can play to address them.
STRATEGIZE the most effective marketing solutions and investments required to fill those gaps.
LEAD the development of plans and mobilization of external and internal teams to effectively deliver them.
EXECUTE with precision and efficiency to drive desired business results.
MONITOR performance and systematically course correct to ensure delivery of intended goals.
“But I can’t afford to hire a skilled marketing executive.”
While the response to this statement is often “you can’t afford not to,” strong marketing direction and dedicated leadership may not be affordable to some businesses. Fortunately, there are other options to be considered.
If you cannot hire a full-time employee, consider hiring a fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). They are typically very seasoned leaders with a wide array of experience in both B2B and B2C marketing across a variety of industries. As the name suggests, they can be contracted for fractional periods of time that range from a set number of hours per week to full-time for a defined periods or projects.
Now you know that you can afford the marketing leadership that will give you the depth-of-experience you need at an investment level that fits your business’ financials.
By Jim Alessandro, Senior Consultant
RVR has helped numerous clients in the past with CMO Services. Please contact us if you are interested in discussing further.