Businesses can experience significant disruption with the departure of a marketing leader, or during periods of rapid growth when an experienced leader is needed – but a full-time hire has not yet been identified.
Authentic Brand Fractional CMOs – on a contract, interim basis – are a great solution to quickly bring strong and steady leadership to the helm of your marketing organization through times of change, uncertainty, rapid growth, new investment momentum, or hiring cycles.
Our Fractional CMOs work with our clients to ensure execution continuity (keep the wheels on the bus!), confidently lead marketing staff members through change, optimize budgets and vendor relationships, and add strategic value and fresh perspective to go-to-market strategy.
Our Fractional CMOs usually engage on a part-time or full-time basis for several months, until a subsequent hire is identified, at which time we often remain engaged as an advisor through our Flex Advisory offering, until the new leader is fully on-boarded.
Finding the right marketing leadership solution for your business
There are a lot of ways for your businesses to access marketing talent. You could hire a full-time leader. You could contract with an independent consultant. You could engage a recruiter or staff augmentation firm. Or you could work with a management consulting firm that specializes in Fractional or Interim CMO services – like Authentic Brand.
No matter which path you choose, it’s important to understand the differences so you can determine which path aligns best to your goals.
We’ve worked with many clients – across industries and markets – to help build Marketing Traction™ and revenue results. Below is one of our client’s stories. See more stories, and a wide variety of logos and testimonials here.
What is the difference between an Interim CMO and a Fractional CMO? Understand these two unique models for contract, outsourced marketing leadership, and discover which approach makes the most sense for your business.
At Authentic Brand, we work primarily with small to midsize growing businesses that have started to invest in marketing activities but aren’t sure whether those activities are the best ones to support business growth. One of the most common questions we get from clients is, “How much should I spend on marketing?” It seems like a simple question, but unfortunately, the answer isn’t. The not-so-satisfying answer we often give to questions about marketing budget allocation is, “It depends.”
If you haven’t read parts one and two of our random acts of marketing series, we encourage you to start there! Random acts of marketing are common, particularly for sales-driven organizations facing stalled growth. Executives at these businesses might know they need marketing, but they’re unsure how best to structure or measure its effectiveness. Not knowing how best to proceed, they often test out one tactic, channel, or message after another, hoping at least one of them works.
Tired of spraying your marketing budget across numerous tactics, channels, and audiences and hoping at least one of them will work? You’re not alone. We call this spray-and-pray approach “random acts of marketing.”
It’s a story we hear all of the time: A business grew rapidly in its first years by focusing on sales and pursuing whichever opportunities came its way. Eventually, growth leveled off. The company needed to do something to jumpstart its sales and fuel its next-level growth. Executives recognized it was time to invest in marketing.
There’s a delicate balance between progress and perfection in marketing. When businesses strive for perfection, decision-by-consensus slows or stalls efforts. Innovative products, campaigns, and services never make it to market or a competitor launches their offering first, diluting your offering and investments. On the flip side, there’s a risk of moving too quickly and promising something that the business can’t deliver on or launching something that doesn’t meet customers’ needs.
We’re halfway through 2020, one of the most multi-faceted years in our lifetimes. As businesses look to the second half of the year, they’re scrambling to adapt their go-to-market approach to navigate the disruptive economic environment. They’re asking tough questions about their relevance in this new market and whether their product or service needs to change. They’re looking for new opportunities to grow.
The lesson that businesses will learn this year is one that has always been true. Focus is critical for sustained growth.
We are quickly approaching mid-year, and business leaders everywhere are thinking about how they move forward in an undefined new world. Whether a business has been booming, shuttered, or stalled, the second half of 2020 is going to be monumental in separating companies that will thrive from those that will merely survive.
The rapidly-evolving nature of a crisis requires marketing and communication teams to stay nimble by listening carefully to their key stakeholders, adapting quickly, and leaning more purposefully into the turns. Crises are a time when showing up in the service of your customers, employees, and communities matters. Businesses must consider how they can best serve their stakeholders during these times.
Crises often put businesses in one of two scenarios. They are either suddenly thrust into survival mode or, in some cases, the disruption of the crisis creates a growth opportunity. Regardless of how a crisis impacts a business, marketing and communication teams need to be ready to strategically allocate resources in the right direction, make quick decisions, and communicate clearly and frequently.
When crises hit that disrupt life for businesses and communities, marketing and communication teams must react quickly and strategically to determine the best path forward for the brand. If marketing teams choose the wrong path, they risk coming off as careless, disingenuous, and opportunistic.
Every business, no matter its size, type, or revenue, has limited resources to direct toward marketing. Unlimited marketing budgets don’t exist, and that’s especially the case for the small to midsize businesses we work with at Authentic Brand. When resources are limited, it’s critical that a company invests in creating brand value through its owned marketing assets (e.g., website, blog, content). These assets are essential to building marketing programs that deliver returns.