6 Reasons to Add a Virtual CMO to Your Marketing Team

By Eric Dickmann

March 28, 2020

Virtual CMO

When you think of a marketing executive, you think of Mad Men, corner offices and slim-fit suits. However, those images are changing fast as companies adopt a more virtual approach with their employees and managers. In recent years, there has been a trend for small and midsize companies to add a Virtual CMO to their marketing team.

At first thought, having a Virtual CMO might seem counter productive. How can a part-time employee who is often remote be right for your business? What companies are seeing, however, is that small change can have a huge impact on your bottom line.  From developing your marketing strategy, to hiring outside talent to help execute campaigns, moving your CMO to a virtual role can save your company money in the execution of your marketing strategy.

It Saves You Money

A company’s marketing budget provides the fuel for the engine of growth. Marketing is a significant part of your business operation because it influences how your customers learn about your brand and how they come to choose your product or service. Not only are comprehensive marketing strategies viewed as a costly expense, but the team hired to execute your marketing plan comes with a hefty price tag. When times are tough, marketing budgets provide a tempting line item for CEO's to cut, but that risks starving the company of leads to generate revenue. In tough times, growth is especially important.

When a company seeks to grow, a CMO can design a strategy to produce top-line results with marketing efforts. He can raise brand awareness, increase lead conversions, and improve customer loyalty leading to increased sales. According to PayScale, the median compensation for a CMO in the United States is $170,000. With benefits, bonuses, and incentives, the cost of hiring a full-time CMO on average is well over $200,000 a year.

CMO Salary

To add a Virtual CMO or CMO On Demand to your marketing team could cut that cost in half, or more. Along with being more cost-effective, by not limiting yourself to the geographic area that your company is located, your talent pool widens and with that comes a broader range of expertise. Finding the right outsourced employee becomes much easier when you aren’t restricted simply because of geographic limitations.

It Helps Make Your Product Better

One of the biggest concerns executives have when considering to add a Virtual CMO to the marketing team is the fear that they won't really understand the company and its products because the marketing department isn’t physically present. What ends up happening is quite the opposite.  Since the CMO is virtual, they provide an unbiased outside view that is removed from internal politics, egos, and influences. It's this objective perspective that could be exactly what your company needs to take it to the next level.

How many times has your marketing strategy been demoted in priority because more pressing matters consume your attention in the business? This is especially true for small business owners. When you can’t focus on your own workload, spending time on things like marketing often falls to the wayside. When there is a need in one area, resources are allocated to address the problem at hand. While that is teamwork at it’s finest, it's an inefficient way to run a business. By having a Virtual CMO to manage marketing efforts, the strategy can be consistently executed no matter what’s happening at the office. This translates into better lead generation, brand awareness, and ultimately, better profit.


The top 6 reasons to Add a Virtual CMO to your marketing Team:

  1. A Virtual CMO costs anywhere from 30% – 50% less than a traditional in-house CMO
  2. Since a Virtual CMO works mostly remotely, you are not limited to talent within your specific geographic area. This gives you greater access to experienced talent.
  3. A Virtual CMO brings a fresh, outside perspective and can focus on marketing no matter what else is happening inside the company
  4. A Virtual CMO provides unbiased feedback that in turn, gives you a better product and helps you better position your brand in the marketplace
  5. Since the Virtual CMO has previous experience, they have access to a broad network of resources and vendors to execute marketing tactics and campaigns.
  6. As a contract hire, a Virtual CMO makes it easy to budget for their expense. Contracts are typically 6 to 12 months long and are billed at a flat, monthly rate.

While, the decision to add a Virtual CMO to your marketing team might not be right for every company, it's a strong option for many. Most companies won't move to a strictly virtual operation overnight, but for specific roles, such as your Marketing Executive, this move ultimately saves you time and money.  It's worth strong consideration!

It's time to grow your company!

Learn how a Virtual CMO can help your business grow!

Contact us today to learn more about our CMO On Demand consulting service.

It's time to grow your company!

Learn how a fractional CMO can help your business grow!

Contact us today to learn more about our Virtual CMO advisory service.

Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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