Do CMOs-For-Hire Really Improve Businesses? Pros and Cons
The short answer is that it depends on several factors, as business decisions are rarely just black and white.
Although CMOs-for-hire offer high-level marketing expertise without a full-time commitment, they are not without some drawbacks. Regardless, you want to know whether availing yourself of such CMO services helps your company.
This article dives deeper into this subject to give you insights on the following:
- Advantages of CMOs-for-hire.
- Disadvantages of CMOs-for-hire.
- Ensuring CMOs-for-Hire can improve your business.
Wondering what a Fractional CMO can do for your business? Watch this video below.
Advantages of Working With a CMO-for-Hire
As mentioned, CMOs-for-hire provide companies with top-notch expertise without commitment. However, the advantages of CMO services go beyond that. Let us look at the key benefits of bringing a CMO-for-hire on board.
Consider a tech startup preparing for a product launch. They must manage countless details, and marketing is critical to ensuring that the launch succeeds. In this instance, a fractional CMO is invaluable, helping to shape and drive the marketing strategy.
What happens once the product has launched? The demand for high-level marketing input may decrease after the initial marketing push. This is where a CMO-for-hire's flexibility shines. They step back when not needed, which reduces costs, then step back in when they are needed again.
A full-time CMO comes with substantial costs. These include a competitive salary, benefits, bonuses, and overhead costs. For example, a small to medium-sized enterprise might struggle to fund a full-time CMO yet still require their expertise.
In such cases, a CMO-for-hire is the most cost-efficient option. They can provide the same level of expertise and drive marketing strategies without the hefty year-round price tag.
3. Access to Expertise
With a fractional CMO, you are hiring a seasoned professional who has had a chance to gather wisdom from diverse experiences. Imagine your company is venturing into a new market segment with which the CMO-for-hire has already worked. They can bring new, innovative ideas that could give your marketing efforts an edge over competitors in this segment.
4. Quick Implementation
Suppose your business has just identified a significant issue with customer engagement. With a CMO-for-hire, you can rapidly develop and implement a solution. They are accustomed to assessing situations, devising a strategic marketing plan, and promptly putting it into action to effectively improve customer engagement.
5. Risk Reduction
Let us say that you are considering launching a new product line but are unsure whether it is a good idea. A CMO-for-hire allows you to "test the waters" without making a long-term commitment. They can analyze the market and develop and implement a trial marketing campaign.
If the new line is a hit, great. You might then consider making their role more permanent. If not, you can end their contract with no strings attached.
Disadvantages of Working With a CMO-for-Hire
Just like any hire, a fractional CMO comes with disadvantages. Learning more about these downsides is as important as knowing the benefits. Let us take a closer look.
1. Lack of Long-Term Commitment
Imagine your company is planning a long-term marketing strategy to strengthen your brand over the next decade. A CMO-for-hire might deliver exceptional campaigns for the first year or two. However, they might not be around to see the entire strategy through to its conclusion. This could potentially disrupt the cohesiveness of your long-term strategy.
2. Possible Lack of Company Culture Fit
Your company might function like a tight-knit family with shared traditions, inside jokes, and a specific way of operating. A full-time CMO would naturally become part of this family over time, understanding the nuances of your culture.
A CMO-for-hire, on the other hand, may not be immersed enough to fully absorb this culture. A cultural mismatch can lead to an approach that does not align with your company's values. This challenge emphasizes the importance of finding the right fractional CMO.
3. Availability and Focus
As an example, let us say that your business is going through a crisis and needs immediate and intense marketing interventions. If your CMO-for-hire is juggling multiple clients, they might not be able to dedicate their full attention to your company during this critical time.
Ideally, you want your CMO to focus on navigating your business through the crisis, which might not be possible with a fractional CMO.
4. Inconsistent Continuity
Consider a scenario where your CMO-for-hire contract ends just as a major marketing campaign begins. If they choose to move on or if you decide not to renew the contract, there might be a gap in leadership that could disrupt the campaign. This could potentially harm your marketing efforts and business momentum.
Ensuring a CMO-for-Hire Can Improve Your Business
How do you ensure that a fractional CMO can deliver a good return on investment? Below, we explore several crucial factors:
1. Understanding the Conditions
First, think about what you need. Is your business in a transitional phase, such as expanding into a new market or launching a new product? Are you dealing with a specific challenge, such as improving brand awareness or optimizing your marketing strategy?
A CMO-for-hire can be a great asset in either of these scenarios, bringing their expertise to the table exactly when you need it.
2. Clear Goals, Roles, and Expectations
Clarity is key. Make sure to clearly communicate with the fractional CMO about their role, your expectations, and your assessment method. For example, if your goal is to increase online sales by 20% over the next six months, the CMO-for-hire should know this and understand their role in making it happen.
3. Succession Plan for Strategic Continuity
Thinking ahead is crucial. You need a plan for when the fractional CMO's contract ends to ensure smooth continuity. You may intend to promote someone from within your business to take over. Perhaps you will extend the contract of the CMO-for-hire or want to hire a new CMO.
Whichever route you choose, planning for this ensures that your marketing strategy does not lose momentum.
A CMO-for-hire has great potential to improve your business but is not a one-size-fits-all solution. They come with both benefits and downsides of which you must be aware. Finding one who aligns with your company’s values and goals is also critical.
If you seek reliable CMO services, work with Digital Authority Partners (DAP). Contact us today to learn how we can enhance your firm’s marketing campaign.
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