The parable of the mustard seed is thousands of years old—reminding believers that great trees can spring from even the tiniest seeds. Entrepreneurs believe the same, that a thriving business will spring from their germ of an idea. So, it’s always surprising when start-ups are resistant to the idea of a part-time or fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) when even a small investment in this expertise can yield awesome ideas that quickly grow your business to new heights.
What We Can Afford
A new business can consume more time and money than my growing teenage boy, so you can occasionally be forgiven for being penny wise and pound foolish. Paper towels that fall apart at the first drop of water and printer paper that is practically transparent are one thing, but letting a junior marketer invest your limited marketing dollars in no-return advertisements or costly unfocused collateral that cost you the time-to-market advantage and lift your business requires is quite another.
During start up and scale up, critical decisions and plans are being made to define target audiences, create market penetration strategies, shape product features, and build brand awareness. A part-time CMO can provide strategic expertise at a time when these insights are imperative—at a price you can afford.
Engaging a part-time CMO will allow you to develop the strategies and tactics you need to ace:
- Brand positioning – developing a clear definition of what the brand is (and isn’t). Often defined before marketing is brought on, this may be updated and refined based on market traction, customer feedback, and desired differentiation relative to your competitors.
- Marketing communications and creative – translating the brand position into tangible results. This includes creating a portfolio of narratives, advertisements, collateral, and web design that consistently reflect the brand story.
- User acquisition/lead generation – growing the company’s base of users/customers. Lead generation typically involves multiple channels, including search engine marketing (SEM/paid), search engine optimization (SEO/unpaid), social media (paid and unpaid), and content advertising.
- Product marketing – developing competitive strategy and product-specific content/messaging. Translate market requirements into well-packaged offers for various customer segments, enabling sales with presentations, demos, use cases, and case studies.
- Events – engaging with prospects, customers, and industry influencers. Whether large trade shows or client hospitality, events provide unique opportunities to expose your brand and product to key audiences.
- Research/analytics – identifying the measurements that matter. Establish critical measures of performance such as brand awareness, target users, and competitive positioning.
Unlike a junior marketer whose experience may be concentrated in one function, a part-time CMO will be able to help you strategize and address the breadth of marketing functions your business requires.
Still tempted to hire on a full-time but less skilled marketer? Remember too, choosing a part-time CMO who is ready for the role pays additional dividends. A part-time CMO will help develop the right people, programs, processes, and technology to generate growth, and can effectively represent the voice of the market/customer to the leadership team. And as a peer, they’ll be able to deliver the executive coaching your team needs to communicate brand messages effectively.
Furthermore, an experienced marketer will see a lot of opportunities not just to make an impact building out marketing, but also aligning its growth and maturity with the sales, product, and operational organizations.
Let a fractional CMO help you strategically plan your marketing efforts. You can still hire a junior marketer to handle your daily operations.
Growth Hackers for Hire
Convinced the time is right for a part-time CMO? Let’s talk. At Katzcy, we’re proven growth hackers who can help you with market assessments, strategy, and short- and long-term planning. Our growth strategy sessions put seasoned marketing executives at your disposal to assess your current situation, provide solutions to critical marketing challenges, and strategically advise you on the effective buildout of your marketing function. Sow the seeds of success—contact Katzcy today for a consultation.