Many small businesses or even mid-to-large-sized businesses with geographic dispersion have marketing people in-house or at least marketing-minded employees, whether at the top or within the company’s ranks. But oftentimes, there’s not a dedicated, experienced resource at the C-level. The lack of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or equivalent leadership role often results in a task-based approach to marketing, which means energy and resources can get expended based on assumptions, whims, and good sales pitches vs. data, analysis, and strategic goals. The result? Unknown value and potential waste of profits.
For every company, it may not be feasible to bring in a marketer at this level and caliber; the costs of an executive search alone could be more than what is usually allocated in a market budget! Bringing in an outside firm is also not always a smart economic investment. So what is the internal champion of strategic marketing to do?
My advice is find an ally–someone you trust who knows what questions to ask to put the potential for a marketing strategy into perspective, can help that get traction within the organization, and will assist with implementation at a cost in line with expected outcomes. Large companies know that, for effective marketing results, there has to be a CMO at the helm; in small business, someone has to be the CMO (even if acting or undercover) so it might as well be you. Ready for your new role? You might just need a “creative partner.”