February 13, 2020

The Virtual CMO Podcast

This week, we're excited to announce the launch of a new weekly series called The Virtual CMO podcast. This show will be hosted by Eric Dickmann, Founder of The Five Echelon Group, and feature lively discussions of marketing strategy, technology, and best practices. 


(Listen or subscribe on your podcast player of choice)

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It's geared towards marketing professionals working in small and midsize businesses. Marketers looking for ideas on how to better design and implement marketing programs in companies where marketing isn't always at the top of the priority list. We'll engage in real-world discussions about what works and what doesn't, the challenges and politics of putting plans into action, and the tools marketers can leverage to improve their results. 

For many small and midsize companies, marketing often seems like a "nice to have." It's one of those nebulous expenses that CEO's and business owners look at and wonder if it's delivering value. Sometimes you get lucky, and the boss understands how marketing is necessary to fuel the growth of the business. Other times, you're stuck with someone who views marketing as the people who want to order pens imprinted with the company's logo. Somewhere on that spectrum is where many marketing professionals find themselves, and that's why we decided to create The Virtual CMO podcast. We want to have a candid conversation about the realities of marketing in the environments we work in.

Sure, it's nice to hear the CMO from Coca-Cola talking about their Super Bowl ad strategy, but that seems worlds away from the reality of convincing a small business CEO about the need to invest in SEO. Some other podcasts and resources talk about what the "big boys" are doing, that won't be our focus. We'd all love to market like Apple, Nike, or Lexus, but our limited budgets and access to resources require a different kind of tactical thinking.

So what should you expect from The Virtual CMO Podcast?

We're Just Starting

This post a few days after our first episode, and let's face it, the first of anything is rarely a work of art. There will be some bumps along the way as we refine what we're doing, polish our technique, and find our rhythm. We hope that you'll stick with us as we work through this journey. Our promise to you is that we'll be transparent about our progress and share the ups and downs of our development. We're committed to making each show better than the last, and with 52 episodes a year, there will be plenty of time to improve.

Why The Virtual CMO?

As the host, Eric Dickmann has over 30 years of experience in marketing and product development. He has worked with large, global, Fortune 100 companies and small startups. Those experiences have shown that marketing resources vary wildly based on how business owners view the importance of the marketing function. With this podcast, the focus is on small and midsize businesses who often struggle getting the right resources and necessary budgets to fully execute a comprehensive marketing plan.

Sometimes, there isn't even a Head of Marketing (VP, CMO, etc.). Maybe there's just a manager, or marketing is given as a secondary responsibility to someone like a VP of Sales and Marketing. A Virtual CMO is a fractional executive who is hired on a contract basis to help companies build out their marketing strategies and then manage the execution of the plan. It's a new concept, but one that is taking off because it saves companies the cost of a full-time hire, while bringing in a seasoned executive with broad marketing experience. 

The Virtual CMO podcast was designed with this framework in mind. We know that not every marketing professional in our audience is an executive leader or working at a company that has elevated marketing to its rightful place in the organizational hierarchy. Our goal is to be a Virtual CMO to our audience. To support this virtual team of professionals and help equip them with the knowledge they need to perform their best at whatever level they currently serve in their marketing organizations. 

Topics We Plan To Cover

As we progress, we'll adapt based on the feedback from our audience, but here's what we plan to cover:

  • How to build a comprehensive, multi-channel marketing strategy
  • Building marketing programs in a budget-constrained environment
  • How to fight the bean counters and show real ROI
  • Marketing metrics and how to use data to improve marketing
  • What works and what doesn't in real-world practice
  • How to manage junior-level resources who lack experience
  • Dealing with outside vendors and agencies
  • Marketing automation technologies
  • How to deal with salespeople
  • Case "stories" about successes and failures. What were the learnings?
  • Managing a marketing team as a secondary responsibility
  • The best and the worst real-world marketing examples
  • Inbound marketing and lead generation

Please Subscribe!

So to be clear, we have no illusion of millions of subscribers, interviews with celebrities, or vast fortunes from sponsorships. This is a very targeted podcast, and our goal is to deliver value to our listeners. The Five Echelon Group, the company behind the podcast, does offer consulting services, and of course, we're always open to new business opportunities. But the goal of the podcast is to educate and inform. To engage with fellow professionals and share best practices that can make us all better at our craft. 

So....all that said, subscribing is still crucial because it's how the podcast players and services determine what podcasts to recommend. To reach our audience, we need to be found. By subscribing to The Virtual CMO podcast on your podcast player of choice, you help us boost our audience, and by doing so, the chances this podcast will be featured and found. Thank you in advance! 

Your Feedback Is Appreciated

Your feedback is always appreciated. We don't mean every "umm" "well" "like" or awkward pause. I have no doubt; there will be plenty of those. We're most interested in what you like or don't like about the content and format. We'll continually work on polishing our production skills, but it's the content that will keep you coming back, and we want to know if the subjects we're covering are meeting a need.


Suggestions for topics you think would be of interest to our audience are welcome. If you have marketing questions, an interest in a specific technology, a case study, or just an interesting story to share, we'd love to hear from you. The show is always looking for exciting marketing professionals, thought leaders, or vendors in the space who have solutions of interest to our target audience of small and midsize marketing professionals.

Contact us if you have some ideas you'd like to share.

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