How to avoid marketing waste with a fractional CMO

Marketing waste is rampant. In a survey of 1,000 marketers worldwide by Rakuten Marketing, respondents said they waste an average of 26% of their budgets on ineffective marketing activities. (Rakuten 2018) What is going on?

CEOs are well aware of the possibility that their marketing dollars are not being used effectively - hence the joke, “I know half of what I spend on marketing is a waste, I just don’t know which half!” Yet, the problem persists.

CEOs who do not fully understand marketing and its importance to sustained growth may approach it tactically, seeing marketing as a list of activities to be ticked off a list. These are a few of the scenarios we’ve seen that lead to wasteful marketing spending.

"Marketing without a strategy, planning, and measurement is like throwing money on the floor."

  1. The CEO manages marketing themselves (Marketing ends up taking a back seat to the many other concerns of the CEO. )
  2. Junior-level marketing staff are hired to do various aspects of marketing (e.g. social media, create brochures, email newsletters, etc - while decisions are made about what to do without a strategic direction.)
  3. An agency is hired to implement marketing tactics assigned to them (This can work if there is a strategic marketing plan in place, but often the agency is “hands-off” and not working in partnership with the CEO to achieve growth goals.)

The missing ingredient that would make marketing more effective and less wasteful in these situations is the oversight of a marketing leader.

What’s missing without marketing leadership? In a word - strategy. Even the most skillfully executed blog article or social media campaign will miss the mark without being aligned with a strategy that identifies the right audience and the path for them to become customers.

"Marketing without a strategy, planning, and measurement is like throwing money on the floor." The job of marketing leadership or CMO is to create the plan and guide the company through the execution of a marketing strategy so every action is designed to achieve the objectives of the marketing strategy. 

What does a CMO do?

The CMO works with the CEO to develop a strategy to achieve growth goals, set marketing objectives and KPIs, and implement best practices. 

The CMO manages all aspects of a company’s marketing department. From vendors to employees, and the integration of marketing with all other departments such as IT, Human Resources, finance, sales, and customer service. The CMO deals with agencies and holds them accountable for results. The evaluation of agency work quality, selection of service providers and third-party vendors, as well as the negotiation of agency contracts all fall under the responsibilities of a CMO.

The following are also common work duties of a CMO:

  • Overseeing the company’s marketing budget.
  • Creation and publication of all marketing material in line with branding, strategy, marketing plans and messaging.
  • Managing and improving lead generation campaigns, measuring results.
  • Preparing online and print marketing campaigns.
  • Developing brand management strategies and corporate identity creation.
  • Monitor and report on the effectiveness of marketing communications & channels to the CEO.
  • Maintaining effective internal communications to ensure that leadership is kept informed of marketing objectives.
  • Analyzing potential strategic partner relationships for company marketing.

The CMO improves performance by acting as the bridge between marketing and sales or business development teams to assure collaboration and avoid the common problem of disconnect between sales and marketing.

What if hiring a full-time CMO is not possible?
A Fractional CMO may be the answer.

What is a Fractional CMO?

The Fractional CMO is a senior marketing leader who’s fully committed to your team, but not fully-burdened with executive-level costs. 

Depending on your needs, you may work with your fractional CMO from one day a month to 8, 15, 20 hours a week or more. The fractional CMO advises the CEO or COO with deep marketing knowledge and is an executive-level partner who knows how to get things done.

The idea of a fractional or part-time CXO is not new - fractional CFO’s are commonplace today.

A part-time CMO gives you the experience you need at a cost you can afford. 

What are the signs you need to Fractional CMO?

  • You’re looking for a marketing transformation such as new website, a new brand, or a move into digital marketing - and you need expert direction (See how a CMO can generate transformational change in this case study.)
  • You’re expanding into a new market
  • You’re launching a new product
  • Marketing materials are uncoordinated and being created as needed 
  • There is disconnection and lack of cooperation between marketing and sales
  • Comparative effectiveness of marketing actions you are currently taking are not being measured
  • You need more insights into your marketing and sales performance to make effective decisions
  • Your company isn’t big enough and doesn’t have the budget for a full-time executive

A Fractional CMO will lighten the workload of the CEO by managing all aspects of the company’s marketing department including the metrics and consultation you need to generate the growth you are looking to achieve while cutting out the marketing waste.

Bringing in a fractional CMO can accomplish rapid results without the disruption of onboarding a new executive or making a change in the company structure. 

Next Steps:

Seeing the signs that a Fractional CMO may be right for your business? Marketing Monsoon provides CMO services customized to the needs and budget of the client.  Get in touch with us to learn more.

Want to know if your company is poised to grow? Get the Pre-Flight Business Growth Checklist to learn whether your marketing, sales and customer service teams are hitting all the notes.

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