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How to Choose the Right Fractional CMO
Choosing the perfect fractional CMO is crucial to the success of your business. If you hire a fractional CMO that doesn’t have experience in your industry, doesn’t integrate with company culture, or you can’t provide the resources they need, then you’re already off to a losing start.
Let's start with a quick definition for those who aren't familiar with a fractional CMO.
A fractional CMO is a chief marketing officer that is an outsourced third-party. They complete all of the duties of a traditional in-house CMO but on a part-time contract basis, giving you access to expert knowledge without the cost and commitment associated with your full-time employee.
As a Las Vegas Fractional CMO services provider with tremendous experience, we will walk you through how to choose the right CMO for your business to make sure you’re the perfect match for one another.
Assess Their Experience
Firstly, you need to know what roles they’ve occupied previously, their successes and failures, and how it applies to your business. While a marketing skill set is transferable to any industry, finding an outsourced CMO with sector-specific experience will allow them to make an immediate impact. They’ve likely already built connections and have a network of people who can contribute to their success.
Additionally, what state is your business in at the minute? Are you looking to hire a fractional CMO because your business is growing and you need guidance, or are you struggling and need to get out of a difficult situation? Because the pressures and constraints of a struggling business are much more profound than working for a successful one.
What Are Their Recommendations?
Usually, a fractional CMO will conduct an audit and analysis of your current strategy as part of their proposal to win your business. This method is the perfect opportunity to assess their capabilities and applicability to your company. If they are well prepared and equipped with impactful suggestions, you know they are committed to you. They will embed themself within your business and buy into what you want to achieve.
However, if the audit they presented with seems brief, rushed, and is low quality, you instantly know they either don’t have the skill set you need. Alternatively, they don’t value the potential contract with your business enough to do a thorough deep-dive analysis.
Will They Fit Your Culture?
For example, you’re an up-and-coming pop culture clothing brand with a target audience in their teens and early 20s. Your leadership team is of similar ages, values, and beliefs – do you think you should hire a CMO whose primary experience has been within traditional corporate law firms? Probably not.
While you’re not hiring a friend, you are looking for someone to guide the next phase of your marketing strategy. They need to buy into and embody your company values, helping to create instant connections with the rest of your employees. Your team will respect the changes they’re trying to implement and be on board with your new appointment.
Additionally, the CMO is the person who dictates how the outside world sees your brand. Do you want to risk tarnishing the image and relationships you’ve spent years building?
How Will They Execute Marketing Strategies?
While their overall strategy is essential, so is their vision for executing it. Therefore, you should take the time to understand which channels they plan on using, the tactics they will employ, and why those chosen to use these methods. Knowing that they have a strategy in place is great, but understanding the steps they will take to oversee these tactics to achieve the business goals is equally important.
Most businesses adopt various of digital and offline marketing tactics, including branding, advertising, content, influencer, etc. Unfortunately, many companies forget to consider the network a CMO has built. It’s unlikely you have the skills in-house to master every channel, so what can they do to help? Do they have a team of experts ready and waiting to fulfill the tactics, or do they need an additional budget to find these people?
Longevity After Their Departure
You and your fractional CMO should always be aware that this is a short-term relationship. However, all of the work you do together should be setting you up for long-term success.
CMO outsourcing aims to fill a gap between employees, create so much success you need a full-time one, or rescue your business from the abyss. Either way, their work should result in a long-term impact.
You know you’ve found the right fractional CMO if they are looking to implement new working processes that will outlast their stay. Additionally, another positive sign is them talking about mentoring existing employees, giving them the knowledge, tools, and confidence to implement the strategy when they’re no longer around. Essentially, you’re looking for a leader who knows how to help employees thrive.
There are many situations when a fractional CMO will benefit your business, but choosing the right one will make or break your marketing strategy. While they’re only on a short-term contract, you need to find someone who buys into your business and has a vision that will make an impact long after their departure. Also, this partnership has to be right for you, and for them, be clear with your budget, as fractional CMO rates vary.
Additionally, make sure to welcome the fractional CMO within your culture. The more they fit in and resonate with your employees, the quicker their vision will have an impact. Finally, always check if they have relevant industry experience and a proven track record of success – if they don't, is this a gamble you’re willing to take?