Your Chief Marketing Officer has a big job. She works with senior leadership to understand the company's goals, then develops strategies and associated initiatives to move the needle on those goals. On top of that, she leads execution on those strategies and initiatives, and reports on results. Finally, she analyzes the results to optimize successes and plan future initiatives.
And there's more. Today's marketing leaders must have a solid understanding online marketing in addition to traditional marketing techniques. Search optimization, website usability, social media, audience targeting, and email are some of the new proficiencies a CMO has to have. Without a solid grasp of these, opportunities will be missed.
But not all companies have a CMO at their disposal. In the absence of senior marketing leadership, companies may employ a marketing person or team consisting of mid-level professionals focused on executing tasks that come from the CEO or other leadership. Others outsource everything to a firm or firms.
There is real value in having a senior marketing professional sitting between leadership and execution. Only an experience leader can properly ensure alignment between goals, direction, and initiatives. Further, in the same way that marketing and brand touch all parts of a business, marketing leadership should give input on products, plans, and initiatives company-wide.
Whether you plan to use an outsourced CMO for a short period, or long-term, here are some situations in which it's an appropriate solution to consider.
In my opinion, a good outsourced CMO will be focused on finding the highest impact strategies for reaching your ideal customer. This shouldn't include branding or rebranding right away. It SHOULD include strategies for messaging to more customer who resemble or have a personal relationship with your current customers.
CMO outsourcing is a new service my company, Kelly Coulter and Associates, provides to a select few companies. Depending on your needs the cost can be as low as $4500 a month. That's a hell of a savings vs. the $15K or more a full-time, in-house CMO can cost.
And there are others out there. Lots of consultants and firms are offering this service. Google it - you'll see. Whoever you use remember to check references and ask every question you can think of. Get your candidate to meet with everyone he/she will be working with, and make an informed decision.
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