What’s a Virtual CSO/CMO?
So you have just started a new business, or maybe your current business has gone through a growth spurt and you want to take it to the next level. Now, you’ve discovered that your marketing and strategy is taking up a lot of time or is falling behind.
What’s worse is that you’re the main source of the problem.
By trial and error (and harrrd work), you were able to get this far (go you!). You stumbled through your marketing duties and you were doing it ALL by yourself. (Unless, of course, you were lucky enough to have a business partner who could wear some of the multiple hats that founders are required to wear.)
You realised, as founders often do, that work magically multiplies to fill all available hands.
You were creating all the blog content (or outsourcing it), and you were doing all the outreach. You were the one working with a freelance designer. You were the one finding opportunities to guest blog or be featured on podcasts or webinars, and you were the one creating content for Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Until now, your word-of-mouth was looking good.
Recently you’ve been forced, like all founders managing a fast growth business, to identify the top priorities for your business and you’ve determined that your focus needs to be on improving your operations and creating the best experience for your customers.
It’s all about getting your business up to maximum efficiency, right?
But putting your focus on one area of the business usually means another area is suffering as a result, and that’s led to one major roadblock when it comes to growing your business the way you want it to…
“I’m struggling to find time to do my marketing,” or “I’m great at the operations and systems but I suck at Social Media.”
You’ve got your email marketing software, your website may be up, and your social media accounts are active. Maybe you’ve done some SEO, and even got some paid ads happening with a whole bunch of contractors involved but you’re feeling like it’s not really working as you’d hoped.
Either way, you need support before things go off the rails.
Should you hire a full-time in-house marketing director, marketing manager or chief marketing officer (CMO)? Sure, but a $75-$200k salary is out of budget (for now).
You need someone with the right expertise and the ability to understand your business quickly.
You need someone who can work with you to create the marketing test plan going forward.
You need a virtual Chief Marketing Officer (also referred to as a virtual or outsourced CMO) and/or a virtual Chief Strategy Officer.
11 reasons why you should hire a
virtual Chief Marketing Officer or virtual Chief Strategy Officer
1. Cost effeciency
The first big benefit. You can save 20-70% when you hire a vCMO, instead of an in-house CMO.
In Australia, full-time marketing managers typically earn $75k AUD per year plus, and that’s what you’d be looking at paying on average if you hired someone with several years experience to work full-time in-house to lead your marketing. Australian marketing director salaries start on average, around $100k per annum.
So “renting” an experienced marketer to develop, drive and implement your marketing strategy is a much more cost effective option for many small businesses.
A virtual CMO/CSO is unlikely to be bound to a single discipline. You’ll add a team member who is well-versed at a multitude of tasks that may be required.
Here’s a sample list of the types of activities a vCMO/CSO could help you with:
- Content marketing, tracking, and management
- Analytics and tracking
- On- and off-page optimisation for posts and pages
- Marketing procedures impacting sales activities
- Miscellaneous marketing tasks/activities management
- Sales-driven marketing procedures
- Landing page set-up and management
- Sitemap submissions
- Social strategy creation
- Social strategy management
- Development of go-to-market strategy
- Permissions marketing
- Technology assessment (and recommendations)
- Site reporting and analysis
- Keyword research for editorial content
- Competitor analysis
Add to those brand positioning, packaging services and products, email marketing and lead nurturing, creating sales and marketing collateral, and much more!
3. Better Consistency
4. Higher Quality
5. Unaffected by workplace conditions
Financial year end may have you and your employees running around in a frenzy. But your vCMO will be calmly working on your next big marketing kaboom.
6. Outside Perspective
7. Mentorship comes standard
Your vCMO should have more knowledge than you in all things marketing. This presents the opportunity to learn from your vCMO as you go, something of an inclusive mentorship program. This means your vCMO can work with your current team members, or help you hire and mentor new staff too.
8. All-in-one Staffing or Outsourcing Solution
Whilst your vCMO can certainly help hire a marketing assistant or someone who they can groom to take over your marketing, they may not be the best person to handle all your recruitment for other roles inside your business.
Having said that, they’re sure to know other like-minded individuals and trusted suppliers who they can bring on board for specific projects.
They’ll have a network of writers, copywriters, designers, sales professionals, conversion rate optimisation (CRO), search engine optimisation (SEO), virtual administrators, and other experts at their disposal.
This gives you access to a broader network of resources to execute on various elements of your overall marketing strategy (and saves you a whole lot of time and headache trying to source trusted suppliers in each of these areas on your own).
9. Higher Flexibility
This one’s related to point 3. Your vCMO will likely have a wider range of in-the-field marketing experiences, often in different environments – be it startup, SME, corporate, non-profit or other.
Also, replacing a vCMO is a lot easier than replacing a full-time CMO, should things go sour.
10. Better Visibility
With visibility comes accountability. Having a dedicated and experienced vCMO to report regularly on marketing efforts, against agreed upon deliverables and objectives, means that you’ll be able to make informed decisions about how well they’re performing. If they’re doing a great job you can throw a party. If not, you can let them go. You’ll have full control of that.
Few business owners have time to spare. Marketing is a valuable skill that takes a lot of time to learn. A CMO is critical to the evolution of your business. The benefits of hiring a virtual CMO as opposed to a traditional CMO are clear.
So when you’re ready to take your business to the next level, get your hands on your very own virtual CMO.