CEO: We need to start focusing on marketing, can you help?

Me: Absolutely. What are your marketing goals?

CEO: We need to grow 50% YoY and need a systematic way to generate and convert leads. We have no one doing marketing now, but have a sales team and we are talking to marketing recruiters to hire a director of marketing.

Me: Are you looking for product marketing, demand gen or an enterprise marketing skill set?

CEO: I don’t know, but I spent 6 hours writing a press release two weeks ago and I author all our blogs. With this latest funding round I’m ready to delegate. 

Me: Makes sense. But if you hire a junior marketer to hit your growth goals, they’ll have to learn your business, write good copy, do SEO, design, demand gen, CRM and ABM. That’s a rare unicorn and sounds more like a CMO. Also, you’ve no margin for hiring mistakes.

CEO: First, that’s a lot of acronyms, but also I don’t have budget for a marketing exec who will want to hire a whole team or for an expensive agency. We paid $50K for a one-off demand gen program last year. Maybe I have Nick from customer service do this short-term? 

Me: Hmm. Nick will rightly prioritize his customer service goals and has no experience in marketing, but have you considered a fractional marketing service? You’d get a website, sales one sheets, pitch decks, social media marketing, blogs and white papers, SEO and paid media. Everything will be done by SMEs. 

CEO: Sounds cool in theory, but how does a fractional marketing service deliver all of that?

Me: A good one will operate as a “diamond shaped” org. Every client gets a dedicated marketing executive who becomes an expert in your company’s growth strategy, and who works with a central team of designers, copywriters, email developers, SEO and paid media strategists to get the work done.

CEO: Sounds expensive. I could just attend a 30 day growth training workshop or ask some connections who have done marketing well.

Me: Yes, but you’d still need to address the time consuming day-to-day marketing work while building a strategy with an experienced marketing executive who has done this successfully in 10 other companies is a huge benefit. With a fractional marketing service you could punch far above your weight class. Experts will do great marketing work in a fraction of the time it takes a junior marketer.

CEO: Sure, but honestly, I really want to build an internal marketing team that will grow with us.

Me: Then a fractional marketing service is the perfect investment to make now. Imagine an experienced executive coming in, putting an effective marketing program in place and making the right marketing hire for you to transition the program to be internal. That person and all who follow will be set up for success from day 1. The benefit: you can start now vs. starting in 3 months.

CEO: I didn’t get this far by being a patient person. When can we start?