Great companies stack their C-suite with the best people they can find to support the CEO and the objectives of the company. Great companies also realize that in order to build their brand and ultimately sales, they make marketing an integral part of the overall strategy. Entrepreneur.com said it best: many current business battles are marketing battles. “The CMO owns the marketing strategy–and that often includes the sales strategy–and oversees its implementation. The CMO will know (or learn) your industry inside out and helps you position your product, differentiate it from your competitors’ products, enlist distributors, and make sure customers learn to crave your product….If your business’ success depends on marketing, you need to hire a CMO.” So, let’s look at #1 way to build your sales: Hire a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
Many think that CMOs are for large enterprise organizations. That thinking couldn’t be farther from the reality of today’s business world. In fact, leading companies whether start-ups or small and medium businesses have realized that they need to have a CMO on the team as early as possible. CMOs work with the rest of the C-suite to build the overall corporate strategy and then they lead the execution of that strategy. CMOs understand how to establish an integrated marketing strategy and look at all pieces of the puzzle. They look at everything from segmentation to pricing, packaging to audiences/channels, advertising to digital strategies and tactics. A strategy that doesn’t include all aspects of traditional and digital marketing is a missed opportunity.
Still confused and uncertain? If so, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you ever confused your customers or prospects with inconsistent messaging/advertising? For example, if you are selling a specific lifestyle does all collateral including website, social channels, advertising, wording and imagery reflect that lifestyle? If not, then you have confused your customers and prospects.
- Is your marketing department staffed with great people, but with no real marketing experience?
- Are you having to spend more time mentoring and guiding the marketing team to stay on track?
- Is your organization shifting gears, but still gravitating to old markets and/or practices that are no longer your core business?
- Do you have a burning platform, but don’t have the marketing team to build and/or execute upon an integrated marketing strategy?
- Do you desperately need a strategic business plan?
- Have you been attacking your marketing at a tactical level hoping that something will “stick”?
- Do you have partnerships with third party brands that have stringent branding requirements and implementation?
- Do you have a senior marketing strategist/practitioner onboard who can talk the talk with your branding partners?
- Have you implemented the tools of the trade or your competitors, but just aren’t seeing results?
- Do you need to build your brand and protect that brand?
- Are you marketing and communicating in both traditional and new digital channels?
- Do you need to reach the right audiences to sell to?
- Do you know what evergreen content is, or even if you need it?
- Do you know how to develop and execute inbound marketing?
- Do you know what metrics you need to focus on?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you need a CMO. The second biggest mistake after not hiring a CMO is waiting to hire the CMO. It is important to note that CMOs are strategic by nature. Developing a strategy without the CMO should be done only as a last case scenario. Developing the strategy and then hiring a CMO will likely result in hiring someone who is tactical only. Alternatively you might only attract someone who has experience in the areas identified. An integrated strategy will not exist and some important components may be totally missed.
So, summarizing entrepreneur.com, if your business depends on marketing, don’t wait. Hire a CMO.