The right part-time executive can provide more than full- time results. In this series, we delve into case studies where part-time executives made a strong impact.
This series on part-time executives is an excerpt from our new book The Executive Search where we break down the myths of interim executives.
Part-Time CMO: Always Strategy Before Tactics
Tactics, strategy; tactics, strategy. This teeter totter is a struggle, and many CEOs go back and forth with the day-to-day of business.
In marketing, this push and pull are particularly relevant. Marketing is usually born into a company through tactics, and it takes a while before strategy is ever discussed. Marketing starts with, “We need more leads; what can we do?” It ends with, “We didn’t get as many leads as we wanted the last six months; what else (or more) can we do?”
One growing health care professional services company with a couple hundred employees inside a mature, continually evolving industry decided it was time to refocus on their marketing, starting with a strategy. At that point, all leads had traditionally come through key salespeople. In the past year, those leads had dwindled significantly as the sales team had exhausted their existing contacts.
The company had executed some marketing tactics previously and had a marketing coordinator, but had never come up with a marketing strategy that would help contribute to their sales goals. The CEO, Colleen, was not 100 percent convinced the marketing investment would accomplish ROI and was a bit hesitant to build in costly marketing infrastructure. The company had, after all, grown for decades without a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Past experiences with marketing efforts and few to no results added to her hesitation. To walk before she ran, Colleen decided to bring in a part-time chief marketing officer, Jane, a couple of days a week.