Why fractional chief marketing officer services can work in both fast-growth and middle market companies but for slightly different reasons!
Customers today engage with companies in multiple touch points and environments, their expectations change along their customer relationship and buying journey (and their motives and needs have great variation). In my opinion, the CMO should be in charge of customer experience, promises, concepts and methods that drive great brand experiences, brand loyalty and engagement. However, the reality is that currently many of those channels and touch points are managed by product development, customer service and business units or online service development unit.
In case the CMO really has the wide customer experience management role, I agree that CMO-CIO relationship can drive phenomenal success. If that is not the case, there must be even wider collaboration across business units. And that collaboration benefits from the experience and talent of a senior fractional chief marketing officer.
Hear me out. In a fast-growth company, the president cannot really expect that 28 year-old female marketing manager to bring a high altitude and clear view of how the company needs to be seen (market perspective) and how to laser focus all of the outbound messaging (based upon clear positioning) simply because she does not have the wide base of experience to draw on to set the table for real, measurable success.
She is motivated to produce but limited in the ability to deliver superior leadership and results because she has no map and no compass.
The senior FCMO engaged to provide that leadership does. And is worth multiples of actual compensation because she/he is leading/doing and mentoring out of a context of having created that customer experience many, many times for previous clients. She/he can collaborate with the CIO to handle data to drive results. And can show the CFO how that actually happens.
In the middle market part of the corporate journey, the forces at work are different. A brand, says another well-known IN influencer, is “one, interdependent system of behavior”. The problem is that in too many middle-market organizations the “system” has many masters and each wants independent control of their domain. CMOs, who might be expected to have responsibility for the overall experience as a functional right, do not. That’s because large chunks of the interface with customers, and the factors that influence that interface, remain for the most part outside of their control.”
And the incumbent CMO is not connected to the language, culture and needs of a CIO and a CFO who are different species, typically driven by their seeking different outcomes.
So a senior FCMO takes on a different but unique engagement responsibility in this situation.
She/he will likely make clear to the management team that is essential to develop and deploy approaches to enable and enhance collaboration and how to create common ground and language between the very different specialist areas. This becomes a high priority commanding the FCMO’s time, energy and collegial resources – at first. Then, as small benchmarks are met, the other aspects of marketing leadership resume their top-tier place in the food chain.
The FCMO becomes especially valuable in the short-term because production from him and his team will give validation to the investment and then immediately allows C-level leadership to make better choices that can include recruitment of a permanent CMO that matches closely the needs, values, mission and intention of the company. In a high percentage of cases, this alleviates the expensive and loss-of-face “bad hire” that was rushed into via crisis management.
In our current fluid, evolving and chaotic markets, we need to draw upon the talent and skill sets of a senior fractional chief marketing officer to guide and advance the company’s human capital pool – wisely, measurably and affordably. Ask us what we can do for you and your outcomes.