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Finding a return on marketing investment for lean small businesses can be tough. Margins are often low and more likely than not they have been focusing on what they do best, so market insights and targeting may need to start from scratch.

Considering this, taking the time to hire a competent CMO which the business is sometimes a luxury. When you are grinding everyday it is hard to take time off and focus on business priorities. Dedicating hours to search for a suitable candidate takes crucial resources away from current projects. Even if the company is currently trying to scale, a chief marketing officer is low on the list when people are needed to finish the current project.

The flipside is, when there is a drought of projects, marketing is more important than ever. Despite this, it can be hard to justify the costs.

The solution for small to medium businesses who want to focus on what they do best while dedicating resources to marketing - is to outsource their CMO position.

Sometimes an outsourced CMO is a person, sometimes it is a representative of an entire agency. One thing for sure is that it is much faster to hire and enter into an agreement when you outsource rather than finding the perfect hire.

Besides saving time and cost during the hiring process, keeping your marketing outsourced means they are there when you need it. If your small business is not in the habit of marketing and running campaigns year round, likely if it is seasonal, then you will only need the marketing experts around when the time is right. Instead of keeping someone on staff for the whole year for maybe a half year’s worth of work, the outsourced CMO is on hand when you need them and is able to pursue other projects during the time when you do not need them. This is also true if your business runs directed marketing campaigns but do not need to, for whatever reason, have a dedicated marketing expert year round.

Hiring and keeping talented marketing officers on board is a challenge but by outsourcing, you can ensure your company has access to marketing expertise when you need it, and at a cheaper cost.

An extra angle to think about is the type of person your small business needs. There are many different types of marketing but generally it can be broken down into two parts: execution and strategy.

Marketing strategy is about the long view - the overall strategy, how all the branding and voice fits together, where and how to reach the target audience. Marketing execution is about carrying out the tasks that fulfill the plan. In a targeted Facebook campaign, the strategy layer is about what the overall messaging is, what the goal is, who to target. The execution would be writing the ad copy, designing the ads, and monitoring and adjusting the campaign as needed.

Both of these skills are essential for a successful marketing campaign but it is very rare that one person is an expert across both fields. Throw in different platforms, industries, and audiences it gets even more difficult to find that one person to fulfill your CMO role.

Outsourcing the marketing to an agency gives you access to healthy mix of individuals that can tackle multiple aspects of marketing with expertise. For small and medium sized businesses which can’t hire an inhouse team or a dedicated department, hiring an agency is the most efficient way to go. An outsourced CMO can be the answer you have been searching for.

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