Punxsutawney Phil popped up this week and didn’t see his shadow. That’s supposed to mean an early spring. Your company may wish for the same. No matter what you do, it feels as if you’re facing six more months of marketing mayhem.
Or maybe you relate more to Bill Murray’s Phil Connors in the film Groundhog Day – repeating a single day over and again. Your company is in an endless marketing loop. You hire some new expert to solve the problems, but you don’t understand what went wrong the last time. This means you’re just restarting the cycle and ending up with the same empty marketing funnel.
Companies that desire profitable growth want to know what’s coming (but have no furry critter to prognosticate for them). They need to build a long-term marketing relationship founded on deep understanding of the business, its target audience, and the messages that drive them to action.
This can involve hiring individuals to build and execute a customized, measurable in-house marketing plan. Or the business might hire outsourced marketing resources for focused attention on driving their revenue growth.
Both of these approaches can involve long vetting processes and bringing the new marketing personnel up to speed. The business might hope for its early spring right away. Instead it is often confronted with six more weeks of a marketing cold period, or even six months or a year, before the new leads bloom.
Many times marketing hiring decisions are made by CEOs, COOs, or VPs of Sales who don’t have a strategic, modern marketing background. The partnerships don’t work out. Time is wasted. Resources are wasted. Frustrations mount. A recovery period ensues.
What’s going wrong?
Many times we meet with prospects who have gone through this full cycle three or more times. They are at peak Phil Connors’ frustration — without the hilarity. They approach us with skepticism, and rightly so! After hearing their unfortunate marketing tales, we’re left to convince them we can make it all right. It’s a pretty tough seat to sit in.
Especially when we’re sitting at a table with a prospect that is making some of the following common assumptions:
- One person should be willing and able to do everything needed by the business
- Experience = Eligibility
- There is no real difference between strategic and tactical competencies
Nevertheless, unless a company brings in someone with deep marketing background to restructure the marketing department, it could be looking at living the same disappointing cycle a couple more times again.
What’s the answer?
Bring in a Fractional CMO to assist with building a focused marketing strategy and staffing to support it. Instead of applying a one-size-fits-all mentality, this CMO will customize a marketing structure to your company’s needs.
Adding a Fractional CMO lets you take full advantage of the marketing today, which is a discipline of specialties. With this hybrid approach to structuring your marketing, you can harness the strengths of your in-house people and turn to the outsourced expert to bring in the specific talents you lack.
Marketri’s Fractional CMOs also help you tackle those common assumptions we mentioned. After getting to know your business and its needs, they’ll carefully define the specific functions for the marketing professionals. We become a dedicated resource partnering with your people to get your objectives powered up and moving.
A Fractional CMO can also help put together a team of individuals with different competencies and experience levels. What you need is going to depend on where your organization is with its marketing and your history of success.
It’s really important to get the right people in the right seat depending on what your organization needs. Strategic marketers are going to do the deep dive into your existing assets, technology and infrastructure to move your business to where it goes. The tactical marketer is the one who executes the plan and measures it. Typically, the most experienced will take on strategic roles and doing the big picture, long-term thinking while the mid-level, tactical professional will be working on putting the campaigns in motion.
In building the marketing team, a Fractional CMO will look beyond the portfolio. Any marketer seeking your company’s business should be able to provide you with a range of work demonstrating their experience. But it’s important to get them talking about how their work made a difference, asking about positioning, differentiation, and segmentation.
Positioning, the what we are going to sell and the audience we will sell to, is determined by segmentation and differentiation. Differentiation draws on the brand values and service or product attributes to get to the what. Segmentation considers the who, the target audiences and buyer personas based on demographics, behaviors, and their pain points.
Keep in mind, it’s important to have strategy first. You need a roadmap before bringing in the people to enact the marketing. Otherwise, you won’t know what skills you need. Having a strategic foundation helps you align the marketing staff with the business objectives. Without strategy in place, you’ll end up in that marketing winter all over again. Your business won’t meet its marketing goals. You and your marketers will be frustrated.
In Groundhog Day, Murray’s character spends much of the movie driven nuts by the repetition of his day. But, then, he figures out how to use his knowledge to his advantage. Marketri’s Fractional CMO services offer the same benefits. Removing the dark shadows of the past, you’ll finally have your marketing “Phil” pointing towards an early, fruitful spring.
Want to learn more about the ins and outs of creating a marketing plan for growth? Then get your free copy of 5 Benefits of Creating a Strategic Marketing Plan.