As a small business owner, you have limited time, and you need as much of that time as possible to grow and improve your business. But you also have limited financial resources, which you need to use wisely, so hiring staff may not be possible. Many small business owners try to keep their expenses in check by taking a “Do It Yourself” (DIY) approach to everything, including marketing. The misconception here is that by doing it yourself, you’ll save money.
If you search Google for DIY marketing you will get almost 17 million results, including countless how-to guides, as well as more marketing platform and app recommendations than you ever imagined. All of these are designed to lead you into the world of DIY marketing. They make the entire process look simple and cost-effective, but when you step back and look at the big picture, you’ll see the easy street of DIY marketing is riddled with potholes.
Hiring a fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) can help ensure you avoid many of those potholes and costly errors. Here are four key reasons to consider hiring a fractional CMO:
Maximize Return on Investment
DIY marketing isn’t as cost-effective as you may imagine, but wasted time and money are not the only costs to a DIY approach. Attribution can be difficult and misleading, especially since there are usually multiple channels through which a customer may have found you. Do they all work equally well, or are some working better than others?
Using the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure Return on Investment (ROI) will keep you on track, but the end results of marketing can take months to see. If you’re off track, you need to know that as soon as possible. A fractional CMO can ensure that your marketing efforts are providing optimal ROI.
Expertise Without Employment Costs
Reading a few how-to guides won’t turn anyone into an expert overnight. Doing what someone else did because they told you they had great results doesn’t guarantee it will work the same for you – or that their idea of “great results” is the same as yours. “One-size-fits-all” is a fable. And using a marketing platform designed for your industry is rarely as easy or effective as it sounds.
It’s getting harder to know which tactics(s) to choose, at what time, and for which message(s) to get the results you need. How will you determine which are best for your business? A fractional CMO brings the level of expertise and experience needed to develop insights for making those decisions. And you don’t have to bear the burden of a full-time salary, employment taxes or benefit costs.
Effective Analysis and Management of Data
Data management and analysis is multi-faceted. It involves verifying the metrics, eliminating bad data, interpreting the results, and maintaining databases over time. It’s harder to properly segment a list for targeted campaigns when the analysis or database are inaccurate. And even when the analysis is correct, are you sure you’re comparing apples to apples?
When a CMO manages your data, they not only keep your data clean and your lists compliant, they also track the results of your campaigns, measure ROI, and can tune and adjust your program as it moves forward so you’re not always going back to square one or wasting precious time before finding out you’re off-track.
Greater Control of Advertising Costs
Advertising – or “getting the word out” – is only part of your marketing program, but it is one of the most expensive. A comprehensive marketing strategy that integrates market and competitive intelligence, product development, pricing, sales support, customer retention and company growth goals with advertising is the way to help contain advertising costs while getting the results you want. That happens even better when the marketing program is designed to tell you as much about your customers as you tell them about your company.
A fractional CMO is a business consultant with expertise in creating, managing, and modifying scalable marketing strategies and programs to ensure maximum growth, and optimized ROI. They know how to grow a business, not just how to get the word out.
TLDR: Time Is Money and Expertise Matters
Just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you should. While DIY marketing isn’t impossible, it’s certainly not for everyone, particularly those without the time or expertise to manage a full-stack marketing program. If you find yourself frustrated by the results you’re getting, consider bringing in a fractional CMO.