Imagine if your company had access to a chief marketing officer but didn’t have to pay the full time salary that goes with that position? What difference would that make for your company?

The whole idea of an outsourced executive position is not new.

Most positions in the c-suite can be outsourced in some form or fashion. Outsourced Chief Financial Officers are fairly common and organizations have been outsourcing their CTO (Chief Training Officer) role for decades in the form of off the shelf training and performance improvement solutions. Even outsourcing the CEO role is on the rise. Yet outsourcing the CMO role still feels fairly foreign to many business leaders.

What does a CMO do?

The objective of the CMO role is to provide strategic direction and oversight for everything that falls under the marketing umbrella. This includes items such as: advertising, social media, lead generation tactics, awareness campaigns, collateral used within and outside the organization, digital presence and campaigns (including website development and maintenance), and strategic oversight of the organization’s suite of marketing solutions. Today’s marketing expert manages (1) marketing technology used to support multiple channels and (2) an array of content to support the sales and marketing process.

The CMO’s primary function  is to make sure that all of the marketing, tools, channels, content, and resources are working together to increase revenue from existing customers and through lead generation. The CMO is also responsible for working with sales leadership to coordinate goals, priorities, and activities and to help create alignment between the teams.

Most small business don’t have a good marketing plan. Owners typically rely on trying different things and hoping that some of it will work. And that leads to missed sales opportunities.

The challenge that many small and midsize companies face is affordability. Frankly, most small businesses don’t need a full-time CMO. They need an outsourced marketing business partner that can be retained on a per-project, or per-campaign basis, or to establish the overarching marketing strategy for the organization.

Here are three high-level benefits that you would experience by working with an outsourced CMO:

First, you get someone who can help you put together and oversee a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes content, branding, technology, and processes. The CMO takes into account the whole picture from from planning and budgeting to SEO, social media, website development, email marketing and so on. You get one strategy that has comprehensive outputs for each stage of the buyer’s journey and a common theme, voice, and goals. Having a clearly defined marketing plan also gives the marketing team specific direction and clarity around their role and how their role is being measured.

In today’s marketing world there are many specialists who are excellent at what they do. You want a search engine optimization person or team who lives and breathes search engines that can help you rank higher and search results. You want a web designer who not only creates a beautiful AND functional website that can convert visitors into qualified leads. And to maximize the specialists, it’s important to have a plan developed by someone who understands each person’s role in context of the big picture and the overall goals of your company. Otherwise you end up with an orchestra without a conductor and everyone playing their own tune.

You get to stretch your budget and don’t have to hire another employee.

Not every company needs a full-time CMO or VP of Marketing, so an outsourced CMO makes perfect sense. You receive  the benefit of an integrated strategic leader who can be an effective business partner. The outsourced CMO understands your organization’s unique challenges and goals as well as has proven expertise with establishing a marketing framework that will be effective.  

The third benefit is that you now have a expert resource for your marketing employee(s).

Many companies have one to two marketing employees reporting to a superior who is not marketing minded, or whose primary work experience is not in marketing, perhaps a Sales Executive or an Operations Director. This often leads to challenges and frustrations for both the marketing team and the leadership team as a disconnect develops in terms of role expectations, responsibilities, and in providing ongoing training support for the marketing team.

An outsourced CMO can serve as a bridge between the executive team and the marketing team by providing training and strategic direction for the marketing staff. The CMO can also provide feedback to the leadership team about the marketing team’s performance and needs. The training and expertise that an outsourced CMO brings to the marketing team that other internal team members cannot provide is beneficial in growing the knowledge of the marketing members.

Do you need to outsource your CMO role?

Here are some questions to consider whether or not an outsourced CMO make sense for your company:

If you answer NO to the majority of these questions, you could benefit from an outsourced CMO:

  1. Do you have a clearly defined marketing plan based on goals and clearly defined metrics?
  2. Are you confident that your marketing is generating measurable results?
  3. Do you have a marketing manager who is good at both strategy and execution?

If you answer YES most of these questions, you could benefit from an outsourced CMO:

  1. Do you believe you could grow if you had a marketing plan in place?
  2. Are you trying to generate more leads for your sales team through your website?
  3. Do you have pieces of your marketing system in place but lack cohesion?
  4. Does your company current generate between $5M to $20M in annual revenue?

Having a clearly defined marketing plan for your business means you will have a much higher chance of achieving your goals. Working with an outsourced CMO will help you stretch your budget and provides additional marketing resources and expertise for your in-house marketing employee(s). And it may give you an advantage over your competitors.

What questions do you have about working with an outsourced CMO? Schedule a time to talk if you would like to ask us your questions.

 

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