When it comes to marketing challenges and business growth problems, adding better talent and new expertise to update and optimize your strategy is always a safe bet.
What many organizations don’t realize, however, is that this talent acquisition doesn’t always have to come in the form of a traditional marketing executive search or similar full time hire. In fact, sometimes taking the route of using an interim marketing executive will offer more flexibility and introduce new options that you might not have access to otherwise.
An interim marketing executive is someone you bring in for a limited amount of time to work with your leadership team and enhance your marketing effectiveness. Their tenure can vary depending on your needs, and can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months to a year or more. Interim marketing leaders come in many forms, and you have the ability to find one with unique experience and specialized skillsets appropriate for your business. Think of them like a senior consultant–one that’s not afraid to roll up their sleeves and make things happen.
If your growth is sluggish or you’re not seeing the ROI you expect from your marketing department, consider some of these ways you could use an interim marketing executive to get back on the right path:
Access Higher-Caliber Leadership Than You Could Typically Afford
Be honest with yourself. Unless your business is a massive organization with extremely deep pockets, then you probably have a specific budget range and tier of talent you’re realistically able to bring full-time into your executive team.
But with the growing importance of marketing in the growth of your business, sometimes you need a higher-caliber executive to find success than you would typically hire.
Maybe you can’t afford to hire that all-star A-player with the impeccable track record and impressive pedigree for an indefinite amount of time right now. But if you bring them on as an interim executive for, say, six months you can get many of the benefits their experience and skills can bestow upon you without the long-term commitment to increasing overhead. Once they’ve elevated your strategy and operations, you can transition leadership back to someone more appropriate for the size and needs of your organization.
Trim Costly Consulting Fees
If you’ve turned to a third party for marketing consulting lately, whether it be a dedicated consultant firm or one of your agency partners, odds are good you were surprised at how quickly the fees added up.
Even worse, you may have been disappointed with the results. Businesses turn to marketing consultants for advice on optimizing and improving campaigns, projects, and processes. But too often all they get are generic plans or hands-off advice from an “expert” who doesn’t even bother to come in and see how your company operated firsthand.
An interim marketing executive is almost always cheaper on a per-hour basis than a consultant counterpart. What’s more, they’ll usually work on-site with you, getting a vital firsthand perspective on your workplace culture, team capabilities, and business challenges. That makes them more effective than most consultants who prefer to scrutinize and advise from afar and will only visit your business occasionally (or not at all).
Conduct a Complete Strategy Audit
Even if you have a strong team of A-players leading your marketing, it’s possible to lose momentum. Sometimes your processes slowly get outdated without anyone noticing, or your department becomes too insulated and you lose your ability to innovate.
Marketing Crisis? You Need an Interim CMO Superhero to Save the Day
In cases like that, sometimes some expert outside perspective is exactly what’s needed to get some fresh insight on what you might be doing wrong and where you have room for improvement. They can audit your budget and completely review your strategy from top to bottom from a position of personal experience.
An interim executive will be well-equipped for this responsibility thanks to their leadership experience and the hands-on nature of their roles.
Launch a New Product or Brand Smoothly
You’ve invested heavily in developing your new product or brand. From research and development to logistics and manufacturing, you’ve put countless dollars and man hours into making it a good or service you know customers want.
But even the best-designed products will never live up to their full potential without the support of a customized marketing plan. One of the best ways to ensure your investments into your product pay off is to launch the product under the watchful and experienced eye of a proven interim brand management executive or interim Chief Product Officer.
3, 2, 1, Liftoff! How a Product Executive Can Make Your Product Launch Take Off
A new product or brand’s success can depend on how well it’s received on launch. Don’t risk falling flat early; give it the best chance of success by putting the launch under the control of an experienced expert who can put it on the right path.
Manage a Huge Campaign or Initiative
Got a huge, mission-critical marketing campaign coming up fast? Need to digitally transform your business?
This kind of large scale investment can’t be treated lightly. Failure to execute means you’re not only wasting resources; you’re falling behind the competition.
Sometimes your current leadership doesn’t have the time or talent to efficiently execute it. On the other hand, if this undertaking has a limited scope then it doesn’t necessarily call for a new full-time addition to your leadership team.
The solution? Bring in an additional resource of leadership and expertise in the form of an interim marketing executive to see it to completion without compromising on your other marketing endeavors.
Jumpstart Your Startup
Got a great idea for a new product or business model? You might be trying to capitalize on it by making your own business. Perhaps you even have some investors backing your dream–that’s great!
But the harsh reality is that most startups fail shortly after starting. Less than 30% of new businesses make it past five years.
You might have a great product or innovative idea. But that won’t get you far if you’re unable to get the attention of potential customers.
Marketing is perhaps more important to new businesses than any other organization. But small, new companies with undeveloped brands and limited budgets often aren’t in a position to put game-changing superstars on their payroll full time.
Use an interim marketing executive to help build your marketing infrastructure and build momentum toward growth. Once they’ve established a strong foundation, you can pass the reigns off to someone more suited for a business of your stature.