Yes, there is value to having an internal marketing team. But if you haven’t had much success in the past, why take the risk of adding new members to the team? Especially if you are trying to retain equity in your next fundraising round.
More and more companies are ditching internal marketing teams in favor of alternative models. Sounds crazy, but they have a good point.
Before you write off not their approach, here’s 10 reasons you don’t need a CMO that might change your mind.
1. CMO’s Don’t Stick Around
The average CMO doesn’t stick around very long, with some leaving in as little as 6 months. Even among top brands, the average tenure of a CMO has dropped to 44 months.
This in itself is an inconvenience, but when combined with some of the other reasons below it becomes a real threat to your business.
2. Finding a Great CMO is Next to Impossible
The ideal CMO is multi-disciplinary (technologist, marketer, strategist, business analyst). They can keep up with the rapidly evolving landscape of marketing, mastering and efficiently using diverse tools and techniques.
Branding, SEO, social media, email marketing, pay-per-click, copywriting, content strategy, lead funnels, automation, chatbots, sales support…you need a full-stack digital marketer.
Where are you going to find someone with that laundry list of skills?
Sure, they’re out there. But it’s going to take you a long time to find the ideal candidate. Is that the best use of your time?
3. CMO’s Are a Hot Commodity
Let’s assume you manage to hire a fantastic CMO. Now it’s smooth sailing, right?
Remember, your CMO will bring their own goals and ambitions to the table. There’s no guarantee they share your dream of making your business a success.
Your CMO will get job offers left and right. A noncompete can prevent them from dropping you for your competitor, but it won’t stop them from being lured away by a business in another industry.
This environment incentivizes CMO’s to stay just enough to learn your tricks and add a few impressive lines on their resume. After that, they’ll be off to greener pastures and you’ll be scrambling to replace them.
4. CMO’s Don’t Work Alone
CMO’s require an extensive support structure to work effectively. If your company has the resources to support these needs in-house, your team may end up stretched too thin. Not to mention learning to communicate with an omnipresent new team member can be a challenge.
On the other hand, your new CMO can easily bring in a flood of freelancers. They’ll get the job done, but costs may vary widely month to month depending on the projects undertaken. How are you supposed to budget for that?
5. CMO’s Need Training
Marketing techniques and technology are constantly changing. A successful CMO is up-to-date on all the latest developments.
How is your CMO going to get the required training? Expensive workshops or consultants? Or taking large chunks of time to teach themselves?
6. CMO’s Drain Resources
CMO’s aren’t cheap. Any CMO worth their salt is going to require a generous compensation package. Depending on your funding stage, this may include some of your precious equity.
Not to mention the costs of supporting the CMO’s work – software tools, freelance support, graphics resources, and more.
You should use these resources for business growth, not expensive headcount.
7. 94% of the Fortune 500 Outsources Major Business Functions
The most successful companies understand how to use outsourcing to their advantage. Obviously, you shouldn’t blindly follow their example, but this indicates something about this model is working for them.
Marketing may be a business function that’s better off when it’s off your plate.
8. You Need a Fresh Perspective
Employees at the same company tend to think alike. This is essential for operating as a cohesive unit, but not ideal for a position such as CMO.
A CMO’s success relies on objectively evaluating the company’s position in the market and developing creative solutions to business problems. Delivering results consistently is challenging no matter how talented your CMO is.
You can hire consultants, but that just uses up more resources – and makes you wonder why you need the CMO to begin with.
9. Marketing Won’t Solve All Your Growth Problems
This one is a hard-to-swallow pill, but it’s true. Marketing alone doesn’t make for business success.
Putting all your expectations on a new CMO hire is just setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, focus your resources on strengthening the other areas of the business and partner with proven marketing experts.
10. You Need to Learn Your Own Marketing
Marketing is tremendously, monumentally important to your business’s success. And it’s far more prevalent than a CMO’s job description suggests.
How do you communicate value to your customers? Can you concisely and compellingly explain what you do? Do you understand and prioritize your consumers’ needs?
All these are elements of marketing. If you constantly rely on your CMO when these questions arise, you’ll never learn how to answer them yourself.
You shouldn’t do everything yourself, but you should understand the “why” behind your marketing. Push yourself to learn and grow rather than rely on a CMO.
So what should you do instead?
If you do decide to forgo an internal marketing team, there are other alternatives.
Full service marketing agencies are abundant, but many of them are highly niche or offer an overly generic service model. However, you may get lucky and stumble into a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship with an agency.
My team and I have come up with another solution – You Don’t Need a CMO, the world’s first marketing syndicate. We’ve brought together a team of ex-startup CMO’s and use our collective experience to solve your marketing problems.
Whether you decide to hire us, an agency, or a CMO and internal team, you should weigh your options to ensure you’re making the right choice for your business.
You can book a free consultation with our team of pros for a limited time here: