Many startups are started and led by the chief technologist. Maybe their title is CEO, but their skill set is generally technical development and vision, not marketing. With customer acquisition being your top priority to validate traction, the first non-technical hires should focus on marketing and sales.
In the early days, the technical CEO often delays hiring a marketing professional due to cost and equity considerations and attempts to cover marketing functions alone. In doing so, they often struggle with the following marketing issues that in turn, stunt their brand's ability to grow:
- Inability to identify the target market and articulate their value proposition
- Inability to determine the right marketing mix and executing programs to deliver qualified leads at an optimal cost-per-acquisition
- Inability to enable sales team with a compelling business proposition
The longer the startup struggles with these core go-to-market issues, the more likely sales goals won't be met, competitors will gain speed, investors will lose interest, and risk of the company's failure increases. Is there a way to get a marketing executive on board earlier? Absolutely.
Hire a Fractional CMO
A Fractional CMO is a cost-effective means of having expert marketing leadership on your team without the full-time overhead costs associated with hiring a top-level executive. They combine in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in marketing and communications, bringing real-world experience and perspective to crystallize strategy and manage implementation. They work as an external member of your company’s executive management team, available for strategic projects and coaching services. Most importantly, a Fractional CMO provides support to the startup's growth plans.
Why is a Fractional CMO a good option?
1. Can be hired quickly and provide instant value
2. Brings decades of marketing expertise and lessons learned
3. Eager to work part-time, willing to put in full-time energy as needed
4. Offers broad industry knowledge: technology, products, and markets
5. Brings industry respect and connections
Better yet, a Fractional CMO is a great option for a startup because the executive is given flexibility in compensation options including cash and equity, aligned with the company's current status and potential.
A Win-Win scenario
With over 18 years of experience in marketing, I have worked as a Fractional CMO for industry leaders and emerging companies focused on business growth since 2015. I serve each company with the same level of dedication and commitment to their business strategy as a full-time CMO. My engagements have been long standing, partnering with the company to deliver on their growth plans.
As a Fractional CMO, you need to contribute to the company's strategy and participate in executive meetings, you are always "on call" to solve a problem or provide advice. You want the CEO to treat you as a member of his/her team, and as a peer on the executive team. Sounds like a full-time job, right? From experience, I can tell you that all of that and more can be achieved in a part-time capacity. The Fractional CMO model works very well for early-stage firms or startups that can't afford an experienced executive and don't require a full-time employee.
A Fractional CMO can help you increase lead flows, build integrated sales and marketing processes, and gain more business faster by optimizing current customer acquisition efforts. Sound appealing? Get in touch with us, and we will be happy to discuss how outsourcing marketing can benefit your company.
DuartePino is a management advisory firm that combines in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in marketing to help clients create sustainable business growth. We can provide your organization with a fresh perspective, a proven process that invests in the outcome, and the tools for successful execution. From Fractional CMOs to business advisors, contact us to learn how our team can help with growth strategies for your organization.