The Virtual CMO Podcast
Season 8, Episode 1
In episode 116, host Eric Dickmann talks with Amanda Rabideau- Founder and CEO of Arch Collective, a Fractional CMO agency for tech startups. Amanda has over fifteen years of experience growing businesses using effective marketing, strategy, and scale practices. Throughout her career, she has worked with large enterprises to improve their business models.
Arch Collective is a Fractional CMO agency that helps tech startups with their marketing strategy and execution. The company believes that talented, freelance marketers are the future of work, as well as a valuable advantage provided by Fractional CMOs allowing post-Series A startups to deploy new capital in the safest, most cost-efficient way.
Aside from Amanda’s devotion to helping businesses grow, she seeks to inspire female business leaders through effective marketing and commercialization.
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Fractional CMO Insight on Marketing for Startups
Let's get this straight- not all startups need a full-time CMO for their business. According to Amanda, many small independent businesses typically don't have the scale and volume of leads that drives a significant amount of revenue. This is why startup owners must make better choices, draft a solid value proposition, and niche down. A Fractional CMO is responsible for ensuring that your marketing strategy fits well with your product or service offering.
When hiring a Fractional CMO for your business, it is crucial to find a professional who understands the company's objectives and has expertise in your industry. When working with a new client, Amanda typically puts a plan together, takes them through the process, and develops a messaging that will resonate with the target audience. Once the plan is done and approved by the CEO, she sets a timeframe for measurement and decides what metrics to monitor. One benefit CEOs recognize with a Fractional CMO over a lower-level marketer is their ability to get things done effectively, make significant decisions, and delegate responsibilities accordingly.
Signs Your Startup Needs a Fractional CMO
If you are a small or mid-sized business (SMB) wanting to create an impact in a marketplace, hiring a Fractional CMO might help get you to where you want to be. Before reaching out to these marketing professionals, you may want to consider a couple of things. Here are four signs that you need a Fractional CMO:
- You lack executive marketing insights
- You lack a marketing strategist or your strategy needs executive guidance
- Your business doesn't need a full-time CMO.
- Your business needs a fresh and modern outlook.
Highlights from Our Conversation with Amanda:
“I really have a pretty rigorous vetting process myself, because I want to make sure that it's the right fit for what my process and what I do with my playbook and how I help the companies and that they're at the right place for me to come in and help them."
- [00:04:23] The power of marketing in a business- Marketing isn't entirely a science, but it's using a scientific process and then using some art to improve your process. Amanda suggests businesses try out their hypotheses and see how it works out. Later, they can figure out ways to improve the results using the art part of that whole art and science equation.
- [00:07:50] How do you work with tough clients and get them to focus on what the audience wants to hear rather than the story they want to tell?- If the company is growing on the right trajectory, getting all the clients they want, and hitting the right numbers, it's a little harder to get them to do something different. Once you understand how a business makes its decisions and runs the processes, getting them to use a more organized branding and messaging strategy is easier.
- [00:09:25] What was it like starting your own business?- Amanda started by letting people know about her fractional CMO services. Like any startup, she had to drive brand awareness and let people know about the company's value proposition. Fortunately, because of her experience and diverse background in the business world, Amanda was able to grow her network and connect with leading industry professionals.
- [00:14:41] Understanding the roles of a Fractional CMO- Some people still do not know what a CMO actually does. Amanda explains the difference between a Fractional CMO and me bringing in an agency.
- [00:17:42] What do you see in clients looking for CMOs?- Clients come in to look for someone who can build them a strategy or guide their initiatives. Amanda chooses to work with startups that she believes can benefit from her strategic process.
- [00:20:02] Can you share some of the things you do as part of that process or some of the deliverables from it?- The first thing she does when starting with a Fractional CMO client is to put together a marketing plan. It's proverbial if you're driving cross country; you don't just get in your car and hope you arrive in the right location. You need to have a plan for how to get there. Part of the process is reporting on the results, tracking the budget, and getting things done. It is also essential to be clear on the story and build a content library that aligns with the buyer's journey are the other areas that CMOs are responsible for.
- [00:24:16] What do people ask when they engage with you?- According to Amanda, she asks her clients this- which one of these best describes you? And so when they're asking her questions, she makes clear- these are my goals, this is the revenue target, or this competitor is eating my lunch, how do I get out from behind that company? There's a whole host of things that these companies need to do, but typically it comes down to client acquisition and driving awareness around the company.
Marketing for Startups and Other Resources Mentioned
- Arch Collective- Company Website