October 19, 2022

When Should You Hire a Chief Marketing Officer?

When is the right time to hire a CMO?

When is the right time to hire a fractional CMO?


At some point, you need marketing leadership to speed up growth and seize opportunities.

You need someone who has been there and done that.

You want someone you can trust and have confidence that they’ll show you to the promised land.

But here’s the thing: CMOs and fractional CMOs are expensive and unnecessary for many companies.

If you’re getting started with marketing, spend your money in better and different ways.

I’d hire a strategic advisor for one to three months.

This person gets to know your product, target audiences and competitors and develops positioning, messaging and a strategic plan.

They craft your story, identify who needs to hear it and prioritize the best places to tell it.

They will then help you hire the right people for tactical execution and provide strategic guidance at a lower monthly fee.

As you establish a marketing foundation, your tactical activities could expand.

Then, you’ll need a full-time marketing leader who drinks the corporate Kool-Aid and who’s ultimately responsible for leads and revenue.

Here’s the thing: marketing requires people, effort, time and money.

In the early days of marketing, money is the biggest challenge. You can have great ideas, but tactical execution doesn’t happen without money.

But to spend marketing dollars efficiently and wisely, you need a plan of attack.

Hiring someone to create a strategic plan is a no-brainer. You need someone to plan the work before you can work the plan.

A strategic plan doesn’t need to be a long, in-depth document.

It can be one page that lays out your goals, target audiences, channels, and how to measure success.

With a plan, you have a roadmap to follow rather than scattering your marketing resources. A plan delivers focus, discipline, and structure.

Bottom line: Before jumping on the CMO bandwagon, embrace a walk before you run approach.

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