According to a recent article by Wall Street Journal Report,

Companies looking to hire CMOs and other top-level marketing executives amid an economic downturn are increasingly favoring candidates with deep experience in so-called performance-marketing.

Performance-marketing campaigns push consumers to take a specific action, such as clicking a link or providing an email address, while brand marketing aims to increase awareness of a company and shape perceptions of that business. By recording exactly how many people take a desired action, these campaigns can be more directly tied to sales at a time when many CMOs are expected to do more with less

The trend will create a challenging job market for senior executives whose careers have centered on more traditional, brand-based marketing. Businesses may also lose out on the long term if they emphasize sales at the expense of brand-building, according to some industry analysts.

This is a myopic focus on profitable revenue growth.

Importance of a CMO

A Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is  responsible for developing and executing the company’s marketing strategy. This person manages the company’s brand, ensures product development is aligned with the company’s marketing strategy, oversees customer engagement and loyalty programs, and uses data and analytics to make informed decisions. 

When selecting a CMO, companies should look for relevant experience, strategic thinking, leadership skills, analytical skills, creativity, communication skills, adaptability, and a passion for the brand.

Emergence of under-qualified marketing leaders

However, some companies may assign the title of CMO to less experienced marketing managers who oversee marketing activities within a specific business unit or region.

These ‘CMO’ with little to no experience may struggle to allocate marketing resources efficiently, leading to overspending in some areas and underinvestment in others. As such, the company may be missing a clear and effective marketing strategy, leading to ineffective campaigns, wasted resources, and missed opportunities to attract and retain customers.

Understandably, many small medium companies (SMEs) often have limited budgets, staff, and time to devote to marketing efforts. As a result, they may struggle to compete with larger companies that have more extensive marketing resources. This can make it challenging for SMEs to differentiate themselves and stand out in their market. Addressing these challenges requires these SMEs to be strategic and creative in their marketing efforts. 

Likewise, companies with evolving needs that have outgrown their skeletal marketing teams may also find themselves needing more steady hands to steer them through the market changes.

Enlist experience hands

These companies should consider working with outside experts or consultants to augment their marketing expertise. It makes sense for these growing companies to engage the help of experienced hands such as an interim CMO.

An interim CMO advisory service could provide SMEs and growing companies with access to experienced marketing professionals who can provide strategic guidance and tactical support to help them in these areas:

Marketing strategy development

A strategic CMO could help develop comprehensive marketing strategy that aligns with the company’s business objectives and budget, could include,

  • Defining target audiences
  • Identifying key messaging, and
  • Determining the most effective marketing channels for reaching those audiences.
Marketing plan implementation

An experienced eye could supervise the implementation of the marketing plan, providing guidance on budget allocation, messaging development, and creative direction. This could include managing external vendors, such as designers or copywriters, and overseeing the execution of marketing campaigns.

Marketing performance measurement

A senior marketing advisor could guide companies on how to measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts through analytics and reporting. This could include tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, lead generation, and conversion rates, and providing regular reports to the SME on marketing performance.

Brand development

A modern marketer today has to be able to deliver against both brand and performance.

A trained CMO can help to develop a consistent brand message and visual identity that aligns with the company’s values and resonates with its target audience. This could include developing a brand style guide, providing guidance on messaging, and overseeing the creation of marketing materials such as brochures, social media posts, and email newsletters.

Marketing team training

An interim CMO can provide training and coaching to the SME’s marketing team to help them develop their skills and improve their effectiveness. This could include training on marketing best practices, coaching on project management and collaboration, and guidance on using marketing tools and software.

In summary…

Engaging the help of a qualified CMO can help growing and small to medium-sized companies looking to improve their marketing strategy or audit their existing marketing efforts.

By bringing in an experienced and objective senior marketing executive, companies can gain valuable expertise, objectivity, flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness.

This article is written by Christina Lim, Founder and Chief Strategist at Chrisspeak.

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