Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) On Demand FAQ

Is the Chief Marketing Officer On Demand Right for Your Business?

My team and I know our company better than anyone else and can do marketing ourselves. Why do we need the services of a CMO On Demand?

In an ideal world, time would be an infinite resource. Unfortunately, time is a business professional’s most valuable commodity. A CMO On Demand can help you accomplish more, faster. They help you scale.

Just as importantly, our CMO On Demand can fill holes in your team's expertise. You may tell your company’s story better than anyone, but have no clue on how to get in front of the right people. When you're trying to grow, you need programs in place that can accelerate those efforts. Marketing is complex and especially in today's noisy environment, it takes time and effort to stand out and build awareness of your products and services. A CMO On Demand can help build out a strategy, secure the right resources to implement the plan, and manage the execution.Everything from your website, product messaging, collateral, presentations, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), advertising and more need to be in sync to maximize the effectiveness of a marketing strategy.

The CMO On Demand can work with internal and external resources to make sure there is a comprehensive and coordinated strategy in place. If you already have a marketing manager or team in place, the CMO On Demand can work with them to accelerate the implementation of the overall marketing plan.

Why hire a virtual CMO On Demand rather than invest in a full-time member of my team?

There are two primary reasons: experience and cost. You want the best possible people in every role and hiring a CMO On Demand means you can get a lot more expertise for your budget than hiring a full-time team executive. Here are some facts to consider:

According to PayScale, the median salary for a Chief Marketing Officer is $171,000 per year. Add in bonus/profit sharing plus benefits, taxes, and overhead, and the cost rises to about $238,000. Hiring a VP of Marketing comes in around $146,000 or almost $200,000 all in. If that’s in your budget, by all means, go for the full-time professional. But if you need to scale up, you can get a CMO On Demand for a fraction of that price. You can get things moving, improve operations, and be in a much better position to understand exactly what you do and don’t want in a full-time manager once you're ready to hire.

What's the best way for a business leader to get value from a CMO On Demand?
  • Ask for advice. Most people in your company look to you for direction; that’s part of what being a leader is all about. But who do you talk to? Where do you go when you want to bounce ideas around? Who pushes back on your preconceived notions? Who tells you that your cool idea is a huge distraction? This is an ideal fit for your virtual CMO.
  • Ask for help in developing a strategy. You know your goals for the business - ask your virtual CMO how to get there. He can present multiple scenarios that align with your reality and work with you on breaking them down into an achievable and actionable plan.
  • Ask for help exploring new ideas. You may have an idea for something in your head – you want to explore a new angle to your business, or you think you should enter a new market. A virtual CMO can help you take it to the next level – he can brainstorm with you, do research on the options, and find a way to turn your idea into new revenue for your business.
  • Ask for help with execution. There are many moving pieces to a marketing strategy. A CMO On Demand can help manage but internal and external resources to help execute the plan. Whether you already have marketing staff, existing vendor relationships or need advice on the best professionals and tools to bring your strategy to life,  your virtual CMO can orchestrate activities and get things done.
  • Ask for help in building your internal team. Once your virtual CMO helps you develop a strategy, identify activities to achieve your goals, and determine the best way to execute, you can decide if hiring full-time marketing staff is right for your company. When the time comes, the CMO On Demand can help you define the roles to fill and hire with confidence.

How can I find the right virtual CMO for my company?

There are three main things to consider: Budget, professional expertise, and cultural fit.

  • Budget is the easiest of the three: If you have a specific project, a CMO On Demand can give you a quote for time and dollars required. If you want focused time for feedback, brainstorming, and strategy development, you can work together to make sure the time is used most effectively.
  • Professional experience is relevant but avoid narrow interpretations. In general, the B2C vs. B2B split is probably the most important – someone who specializes in convenience store marketing, for example, is probably not the best fit for a software developer. That said, a CMO On Demand does not need to be an expert in your industry. You're hiring an executive for their marketing skills, not expertise in your industry. They will work with you to understand your products and services, then apply that knowledge with their own marketing expertise to develop a strategy based on proven marketing principles, techniques, and tools.
  • Cultural fit is important. You need to be able to tell your virtual CMO some uncomfortable truths – and you need to be able to accept feedback from them too. As the adage goes, the first step toward solving a problem is recognizing you have one. The more open you are, the better your chances are of finding solutions. Definitely ask for your CMO On Demand to sign a non-disclose agreement to help you start building trust. Recognize that openness and full disclosure are the keys to finding solutions and accelerating growth. 

Does the CMO On Demand service require an extended contract?

If you have a specific project, your CMO On Demand should give you a timeframe needed for completion. If your needs are broader, understand there will be a ramp-up period to establish a relationship, and delve into issues. But if things are not working out, you should know within three months.

Be forewarned, this works both ways – your virtual CMO may decide that you aren’t a great fit if you are dishonest or refuse to listen to even the most basic of advice. Marketing is an expense, there is no way around some costs. If you're looking to grow, marketing plays an important role, and it will require an investment. But a good marketing strategy that's well executed can pay huge dividends to your business. The goal of creating a marketing strategy is to careful implement programs that will yield the greatest results, at the lowest costs. You need to go into the engagement knowing that a marketing strategy is an investment in growth.

I’m interested. What’s next?

If you have read this far, something has struck a chord. Is it worth 15 more minutes of your time for a phone call? Contact us today to learn more!

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