The Virtual CMO: Why you can’t afford NOT to outsource your CMO.
The digital age is here, let us all rejoice: your business’s marketing just got a whole lot easier and cheaper thanks to the Virtual CMO (Chief Marketing Officer – or, as we call it, Virtual CSMO, for Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, but we’ll elaborate on that another time). Outsourcing the role of a previously expensive and old-school marketing officer to an agile, remote and focused virtual CMO, is one of the biggest growth opportunities cloud computing and new technology offers small-to-medium-size businesses. The potential to see your business soar with comparatively little exertion and less expense on your end is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of hiring a virtual CMO. Let’s break it down, and answer some of the common complaints:
5 Benefits of hiring a Virtual CMO:
1. Money Talks! A traditional in-house Chief Marketing Officer, with experience and networks, will cost anywhere between $200,000 – $350,000, so A LOT! And the cost of hiring an entire Creative Marketing team easily surpasses $500,000. Outsourcing to a virtual CMO to do everything that its traditional, in-house counterpart would do (and then some!) runs at about 40-60% of the cost. Another commonly used term for this specific function is fractional CMO.
2. Increase your Options. Widen your Talent Pool Not being limited by your geographical location means you have access to a greater number of potential CMOs to overhaul your marketing. This also means you can find someone with experience that is better aligned to your business, ideas/networks you would have never heard of and access to a greater breadth of resources.
3. So much more than just a Marketing Consultant. While a virtual CMO will come in and access your business to find our what specific needs and opportunities are relevant to your business, marketing consultants tend to go with a more one-size-fits-all approach. A virtual CMO won’t use the same methods and strategies it uses for all its clients – a virtual CMO becomes part of your team and generates more traffic by understanding your business and strategising around your particular needs, whether that be branding, a new product portfolio, clearer message, etc.
4. Outsider’s Perspective without being caught up in the daily chores of the business, a virtual CMO has the privileged position of being able to see exactly how your marketing is working (or not working). From an outside, unbiased perspective a virtual CMO offers a fresh perspective on how you could be doing business better as well as not wasting their time on the everyday running of the workplace.
5. Focused and Comprehensive Approach. A virtual CMO can actually take care of your business’s NEEDS such as developing a marketing strategy, getting your sales team up to speed and on-boarding for new talent. A role that would traditionally split between two or more people can be handled by one virtual CMO because their tasks are more specific and focused.
Pictured: a diagram of Hunt & Hawk’s Virtual CSMO solution. Whilst this covers most key areas, depending on what you need & want, a Virtual CSMO should tailor the solution for you, and get immersed as though they are part of your team.
Arguments against a Virtual CMO DE-BUNKED:
- “I prefer to have someone in-house so I know they are actually doing what they say they are…” Turns out a virtual CMO is more efficient, focused and engaged than a traditional marketing officer. Remote work offers employees more flexibility and more work-life satisfaction in comparison to traditional workers – so why not hire the happier and more driven marketing professional? As well as this you only pay a virtual CMO for the work they actually do for your business – instead of another salary (and benefits), you pay only for what you need! Having said that though, all our Virtual CSMO engagements have included 1-2 weeks on site in the clients office, this helps us really understand the business, meet everyone and plan in a collaborative way – plus, we usually meet in person every 6 weeks thereafter.
- “How will this ‘outsider’ know what my business is about…” Without being caught up in the daily deluge of emails dealing with workplace logistics and correspondence irrelevant to your business’s marketing, a VCMO does just and only that. This makes it much easier for an unbiased expert to improve your business’s operation and offer new insights in enhancing the overall experience of your customers. Also refer back to the point above about getting ‘immersed’ in your business first, this is an important step.
- “Maybe it’s best if I just outsource all my individual marketing needs like design, copywriting, SEO…” This maybe true if you have an excess of time and money that you are looking to spend in an inefficient and ineffective way. A VCMO takes care of everything, why hire five or more different professionals for a role that one could fill. A virtual CMO will first identify your business’s needs, resource where required and create an integrated branding, marketing & sales plan around it.
- “Sounds great, but I can’t afford to hire a Virtual CMO right now…” this is really counterintuitive, if you can’t afford a virtual CMO right now it means your current approach to generating leads and retaining clients is NOT WORKING. As a general rule of thumb your marketing budget should be 5-10% of your revenue.
Creating a successful and results-driven marketing strategy does not happen overnight and requires investment. A Virtual CMO is one of the easiest ways businesses can completely refocus, redefine and refresh their approach to marketing and get a great return on investment, whilst staying focussed on what they do best.
If a Virtual CMO or CSMO + team sounds appealing to you – contact us for more information on getting the right approach & solution for you.