Are you a small to mid-size business that needs marketing help, but you don’t have the budget to hire a full-time, senior-level marketing executive? One option is to hire a part-time or outsource CMO to drive your marketing success. Here are six important qualities to look for in your CMO for Hire.
- Experience in your industry plus others. While it’s great to have someone who knows your industry and can hit the ground running (or at least have a reduced learning curve), cross-industry experience can be a plus, too. CMOs with experience outside your industry can think outside the box and give you a competitive advantage. While your competitors market in the red, bloody ocean of competition, your marketing could take place in a blue ocean of opportunity – where no one else competes. (Read more about Blue Ocean Strategy in my blog posts, 3 of My Favorite Strategic Models and Why B2B Marketers Need Blue Ocean Strategy.)
- A neutral party who has your best interest in mind (not a front for an agency or marketing services firm). Watch out for the marketing consultant or CMO for Hire who owns an ad agency or services firm. When they recommend marketing activities for your company, are they just trying to feed their agency’s bottom line or yours?
- Ability to explore new territory for each client, rather than taking a cookie cutter approach. Has your outsource CMO left a trail of cookie cutter designs and tactics with past clients? Or, are they willing to look at all possibilities and explore new tactics to get the right results for your marketing?
- Walks in your door listening, not selling. When you first met your outsource CMO, did they ask a lot of questions about you and your company? Or, did they talk a lot about their company and their approach?
- Skilled in new marketing tactics like social media and inbound marketing, but is not dogmatic about any tactic. If your CMO for Hire announces, “You need to be on Facebook!” without the research or data about your customers and your business to back that up, you might want to think twice. On the other hand if they say, “Let’s analyze your situation and survey your stakeholders before deciding on tactics,” they are taking a measured approach.
- Ability to say “I don’t know the answer” – followed by “…but, I will find out!” Is your potential CMO for Hire a know-it-all? Or, are they willing to be realistic and admit that they may not have all the answers immediately, but they will get them!