Fractional CMO services for SMBs
looking to increase revenue growth and profitability.
Strategic Marketing Advisory Services
The Five Echelon Group's Virtual CMO advisory service was created for SMBs to provide the seasoned expertise of a CMO on-demand. We design and execute strategic marketing plans to fuel growth without the cost of adding a full-time marketing executive.
Define a Strategy
We want to understand your business's goals and objectives to build a strategic marketing plan that can get you there.
What is your product-market fit? Your competitor's offerings? Your target customer personas? We will look at these factors to determine how best to enhance your brand positioning in the marketplace.
Increasing awareness of your brand, products, and services is critical to driving new leads and organic web traffic. We will look at areas of investment to get your company more visibility with your target buyers.
Improve Lead Generation
To increase sales, you first need to increase the quantity and quality of your leads. Building a predictable, lead generation engine is an important factor for long-term growth.
Measure & Optimize
To be successful, you have to be able to measure your results. Having analytical systems in place to monitor and optimize programs. This helps your company achieve a positive ROI on marketing campaigns.
Align Sales & Marketing
It's critical to have Sales and Marketing working together to coordinate lead flow and follow-up activities. Generating quality leads is expensive and making sure Sales is leveraging the work done by marketing is critical for growth.
What is the Virtual CMO advisory service?
The Virtual CMO advisory service from The Five Echelon Group is a CMO on-demand offering for part-time, outsourced marketing leadership. It's a program developed to bring high-end strategic expertise to small and midsize businesses. While the role is outsourced, it's designed to be a part of your core leadership team.
By outsourcing your marketing to someone with seasoned expertise in branding and marketing strategy, it facilitates the design and execution of a comprehensive marketing strategy that's aligned with your business goals and growth objectives.
Marketing needs to be strategic to be effective and it takes time and money to produce results. A comprehensive marketing strategy delivers long-term value, creating a foundation for a prospering business. Ultimately, strategic marketing increases brand awareness, drives new leads, and produces sales growth and profitability.
Marketing is the engine that drives growth. Yet the ever-changing dynamics of marketing effectiveness require seasoned knowledge and expertise. Outsourcing your strategic marketing planning and execution gives you marketing plans with a fresh perspective. It's a flexible alternative to a full-time executive leader which saves your business time and money.
Not all businesses have a Chief Marketing Officer
It's important to note in this discussion that not all businesses have the executive role of Chief Marketing Officer. This is especially true of small and midsize companies. In those firms, they might have a VP of Marketing, Director of Marketing or even a Marketing Manager. The title really doesn't matter, they have been tasked with building a plan and executing marketing tactics.
The concept of a fractional CMO is an experienced marketing professional who can help create a comprehensive strategy and manage its execution, on a fractional or part-time basis. It's like getting a senior level professional at a cost similar to full-time hire who is much less experienced.
No matter what title may or may not exist within your organization, if you're looking to grow revenue, chances are you'll find significant value in hiring an experienced fractional CMO for your business.
What's the best way to get value from an on-demand CMO?
Having an outsourced CMO can help your company quickly design a comprehensive marketing strategy and implement the execution of specific marketing tactics. But to get the most value from an engagement, here are some suggestions on how best to leverage your Virtual CMO's skills and experience:
What is the difference between a Virtual CMO, Fractional CMO, and On-Demand CMO?
The short answer is nothing. All describe an outsourced consulting offering where the CMO provides services to a company on a contract basis. Usually, those services are contracted for 6 to 12 month periods and are based on a fractional time commitment, not a specific number of hours. While in certain cases, it could be a full-time engagement, the cost savings generally come from the CMO being able to work remotely and on a part-time basis.
At The Five Echelon Group, our unique offering is called the Virtual CMO advisory service.
How can I find the right Virtual CMO for my company?
A key reason for hiring a Virtual CMO is flexibility. You are not limited only those candidates living in a specific geography. Instead, you are free to find a leader who understands your company's mission and shares its values. While specific industry experience might be important, it's also worth considering that outside experience can be tremendously valuable by bringing in fresh insights and new ways of approaching problems. The most important factor is hiring some you and your team feel comfortable working with and knowing they understand where you want to go with the business.
In an ideal world, time would be an infinite resource. Unfortunately, time is a business professional’s most valuable commodity. A Virtual CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), Fractional CMO, or On Demand CMO can help you accomplish more, faster. They help you scale.
Just as importantly, our CMO On Demand consulting service 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.
There are two primary reasons: experience and cost. You want the best possible people in every role, and hiring a Virtual CMO means you can get a lot more expertise for your budget than hiring a full-time team executive.
According to PayScale, the median salary for a Chief Marketing Officer is $170,000 per year. Add in bonus/profit sharing plus benefits, taxes, and overhead, and the cost rises to about $246,000. 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 what you do and don’t want in a full-time manager once you're ready to hire.
If you have a specific project, your On Demand CMO 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 build a plan and implement programs that will yield the best result, at the lowest costs. It's crucial to enter into this executive engagement knowing that a comprehensive marketing strategy is an investment in your company's growth.
The Virtual CMO Podcast
A weekly podcast masterclass for marketing professionals looking to improve the effectiveness of their marketing strategy and accelerate growth.