Trailblaze & Grow Month: September 2017

Would Your Business Benefit From a Fractional CMO?

Launching and growing a business is exhilarating — but it is no easy task.

Sheer enthusiasm and effort will only take you so far. It might help you get the ball rolling and raise a few rounds of funding, but there will inevitably come a time when your growth will stagnate. When that day comes, it will be in your best interest to stop bootstrapping and start surrounding yourself with proven experts who can help carry your brand to the next level.

This is especially true when it comes to marketing. To hit your next growth goals, you will need to bring in a seasoned marketing professional who knows how to develop an integrated strategy that effectively promotes your brand and converts people into customers. This requires experience in generating leads across multiple channels, managing people, and managing a P&L.

In other words, you need a brilliant chief marketing officer who understands what success looks like and knows how to deliver it. Unfortunately, finding this capable person is often easier said than done, especially for small to midsize businesses.

 

Finding a Fit

At Trailblaze Growth Advisors, we have seen companies waste tons of time and money trying to recruit and hire full-time CMOs. It usually looks something like this:

First, you may turn to your personal network to see whether a friend (or a friend of a friend) is looking for a job. Most of the time, this approach will not yield top-tier talent — and it could easily present an awkward situation in which you jeopardize a friendship by telling someone, “Sorry, you are not the right fit for my company.”

Then, you may elect to post an online job description, which will lead to a deluge of résumés and cover letters. Sifting through them in search of someone with the right experience and attitude for your company is no short order — and that is assuming you or your hiring manager understand what the right CMO candidate even looks like. From there, you still face several rounds of interviews and salary negotiations before you can potentially fill the position with a great candidate.

Or perhaps you will choose to hire a headhunter to do the dirty work for you. This can be a huge investment not only in commissions and headhunting fees, but also in the time required to on-ramp the hire.

All of the above options could easily cost your company more time and money than it has to spare. We estimate that it could take you up to a year to find the right fit, negotiate mutually beneficial terms, and incorporate the new hire into the fabric of your company.

If your growing business is looking to improve its marketing results today, we strongly recommend you take a different route.

 

Hire a Fractional CMO

Fractional CMOs are basically on-demand executive-level marketers. Like traditional CMOs, their ultimate goal is to supercharge your current marketing efforts, identify new opportunities for experimentation and growth, and provide mentorship to your in-house team.

However, there are two big differences between fractional CMOs and traditional CMOs: Fractional CMOs will cost you much less money, and they are equipped to have an immediate impact on your marketing ROI from day one.

Trailblaze Growth Advisors’ fractional CMOs are industry veterans who have embedded themselves in a wide variety of businesses across multiple industries. We know exactly what it takes to help companies like yours achieve their next growth goals.

Sure, you will be working with an “outsider” — but this outsider will lend an impartial eye to your company’s inner workings. We will make honest suggestions regarding your current tactics and strategies, provide input on future initiatives, and put a plan in place for follow-through. Just as importantly, a TBGA fractional CMO will put all the necessary metrics in place that illustrate your marketing ROI.

Last but not least, we can serve as a stopgap while you search for your future full-time CMO. Our fractional CMOs will ensure your company does not lose momentum as it takes the time it needs to find the perfect permanent hire.

 

If your company is stuck in a rut and is struggling to accelerate its growth regardless of how much time, money, and effort you invest toward the cause, it is time to consider partnering with TBGA and hiring a fractional CMO.

Contact us today for a one-hour consultation to learn more about how our marketing veterans can accelerate your brand’s business growth.

 

Photo credit: Latente 囧 www.latente.it via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Why Your Marketing Consultant’s Pedigree Matters

Hiring a marketing consultant based on the power of her sales pitch is akin to hiring an airplane pilot based on how sharp her uniform looks. This limited amount of information provides you with little to no idea of whether this person can actually help your business soar.

Unfortunately, too many small to midsize companies make this very mistake, hiring marketing consultants without first taking a close look at their credentials and pedigree. In fact, quite a few of our current clients hired us to help them rebound from consultants who did not live up to their slick sales pitches.

 

For example, before working with TBGA, one of our clients hired a senior marketing consultant who used his fun, personable attitude to win them over. However, once it came time to get to work, it turned out he was not the right fit for them.

Our client’s entrepreneurial environment required a consultant who could establish metrics, set priorities based on ROI, push his priorities throughout the organization, and most importantly execute on the plan — and this gentleman was in over his head. He always seemed to be working hard, but in the end, it turned out that he was just spinning everyone’s wheels. There were no quantifiable results to speak of.

The consultant was frustrated, the client was disappointed, and neither party walked away happy. Although we were grateful to have an opportunity to fix the resulting mess, we want you to get it right on the first try.

Pedigree Matters

Ivy League MBAs, previous jobs at blue chip companies, firm handshakes — these should never be the sole reason you hire a consultant. Pedigree is not about any experience; it is about the right experience.

You need to make sure a candidate’s experience will dovetail into your unique needs. If you do not know exactly what you need, you should hire a consultant who can help you identify them.

At the very least, your consultant should have experience working at companies that resemble your own, carrying out tasks similar to the ones you have in store, and delivering the real-life results you want to see.

When looking at a candidate’s track record, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has this person ever spearheaded the launch of a new business or product line?
  • Does this person typically have access to a large budget and team, or is he or she an expert at maximizing minimal resources?
  • Has this person ever built and led a marketing team, or does he or she typically work in isolation?
  • How does he or she measure success?

Our roster of marketing experts is deep and diverse. Some of us have held senior leadership roles.

 

We are a hands-on team of collaborators; no one at Trailblaze gives advice from the sidelines. We know that your specific goals require specific solutions, so at the start of our relationship, we dive in and embed ourselves into your business.

From there, we are constantly in pursuit of perfection. We always strive to be on the cutting edge, proactively seeking new research, new technology angles, and new information. We utilize modern-day tools and tactics that will help us deliver the results you desire.

Best of all, we back up our talk. We set clear objectives. If we do not meet those objectives, it is probably because we have exceeded them.

 

We at Trailblaze Growth Advisors provide more than a savvy sales pitch; we provide proven marketing expertise that will help accelerate your growth. If you are searching for a consultant who is a passionate, determined problem solver with a proven track record of success, contact us today for a one-hour consultation.

 

Photo credit: levork via Foter.com / CC BY-SA