Why you need an InterimCMO

As more and more companies turn to outsourced resources in their marketing efforts, striking a balance between reliable expertise and affordability has only become more difficult.

Websites and communities connecting growing startups with freelance experts often prioritize low-cost pricing at the expense of quality. The trade-off leaves companies and small teams watching their marketing dollars drain away in the hands of the lowest bidder.

But, budget-informed investments and the right marketing expertise to make a difference for your startup venture don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Here are three principles to guide your decision to work with an InterimCMO:

Image via Audiense

Principle #1 — Outsourced marketing frees founders to focus on core competencies

No matter what business you’re in, lean startup teams tend to exhibit a certain number of core competencies. And if expert-level marketing isn’t already in your wheelhouse, at a certain point in your startup’s growth, the time will come to bring that kind of expert on board. Keeping up with customer expectations in the ever-developing digital age leaves businesses of all sizes with an urgent demand for highly specialized marketing assistance.

“In an age where digital and social tools are all the rage, B2B companies in the SMB space are more frustrated than ever because they’re not getting what they want,” writes Steve Olenki in Forbes Magazine. The trend toward outsourced marketing for startups in virtually every industry shows that bringing in external expertise is a bankable path to support sustained business growth. And while your InterimCMO handles every aspect of marketing your startup, your core team is free to focus on their actual skills and responsibilities within the business.

Principle # 2 — It’s possible to prioritize quality while still sticking to the budget

As soon as you’ve accepted the idea that quality counts when it comes to outsourced marketing support, what arises is the question of affordability. Finding, hiring, and retaining world-class talent can be a costly endeavor, in particular if you’re searching for full-time staff members. And when all is said and done, that cost is so much more than financial — recruitment is time-consuming and resource-intensive, from questions of cash flow to demands on people power.

Meanwhile, freelancer websites and platforms dedicated to the “gig economy” can save your startup a few dollars, but there is no guarantee when it comes to the quality of work done that actually affects the success of your business. How can startups find some middle ground? Bringing on a dedicated outsourced marketing expert like an InterimCMO ensures you’re engaging top quality talent, while avoiding the prohibitively high cost of a full-time hire.

Working with an InterimCMO supports the marketing effort built around your brand new startup, your fundraising and investment round, or whatever stage your startup is facing.

“Outsourcing provides these digital experts — who have likely worked with top-tier brands — at a fraction of the cost with no long-term commitment.” Ilya Pozin, Forbes

Principle #3 — Short-term solutions support your startup’s long-term growth

Outsourced marketing expertise is an ever-expanding resource in a world where marketing needs, and in turn, marketing spend, are only increasing. According to Gartner’s Chief Marketing Officer report, 2017 closes the third consecutive year of widespread increases in corporate marketing budgets for businesses of all sizes. At the startup end of business development, working with an InterimCMO satisfies tight budgets and supports small teams as they grow into this kind of market expansion.

In 2005, a Harvard Business Review report by Gail McGovern and John Quelch predicted that outsourcing marketing would grow to be an anchor of advertising and promotional campaigns in the digital age:

“Above all, management must start seeing its marketing suppliers not as contractors that need to be controlled but as partners that can create shared value over the long term.”

This is exactly why bringing on an InterimCMO is so effective: prioritize quality, stick to your budget, and lean on the short-term partnership to support your startup’s big picture growth.

If sustainable growth over time is one of your startup goals, working with a marketing expert as an extension of your core team ensures that you get access to the knowledge you need to see you through the long arc of your startup journey, even once you’re fully funded and ready to transition to a full-time hire.

Building atop a sturdy foundation of actionable marketing expertise, the benefits of working with an InterimCMO last long after that short-term engagement is complete.