How an On-Demand Virtual CMO Can Grow Your Business

Picture of Michelle Fotheringham

Michelle Fotheringham

CEO & Founder

3 min read
The face of business is rapidly transforming, but a good marketing strategy continues to remain essential to success regardless of the type of business you run.
There are several issues for businesses when it comes to marketing – whether you need to find the right person to lead and upskill your marketing team, or you face budget constraints when it comes to hiring a highly qualified full-time marketing professional, a virtual CMO has the potential to solve them all.

What is a virtual CMO?

You may have heard of a virtual CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) called by a different name, such as a marketing leader on-demand or an outsourced Head of Marketing.
Whatever the title, the concept is the same. A virtual CMO is an outsourced consultant who works on your marketing strategy and guides you and/or your marketing team on execution.
Having an on-demand virtual CMO is just like having an in-house CMO without the large cost of a full-time wage and with a lot of added benefits.

Benefits of a virtual CMO

A marketing leader on demand can help your business sell better by translating your mission and values into an effective marketing strategy.
It may seem a little bit out there to hire a virtual freelancer for a leadership position, but there are perks that virtual CMOs have over an in-house marketing leader. A virtual CMO works with your business as a contractor, so benefits include lower overheads, end-to-end management of your marketing, work harder and smarter in the time allocated, breadth of experience, and a reliable external partner who is dedicated to keeping you in the loop while they prove their expertise with tangible results. And as their business success is closely tied with your business success, they’re committed to getting those results!
Let’s discuss what these benefits mean in more detail.
1. Affordability
Cheaper than an in-house Chief Marketing Officer, more committed than a digital agency. A full-time C-Level marketing executive is not in every business budget, but a lack of efficient marketing strategy can mean your business budget never grows. A virtual CMO meets you in the middle.
Working with a virtual marketing leader on a fractional basis means that you get better control over your marketing spend than with an in-house employee while still reaping the benefits of an optimised marketing strategy developed by an expert in the field.
2. Convenience
Say goodbye to time spent shuffling through resumés, interviewing candidates, and advertising a job opening. When you choose an on-demand virtual CMO, you get to hire from a select pool of readily available professionals to be on call as you need them. And, the fact they’re a specialist consultant in the space, you know they come with the cred you need to get the job done.
Choosing the right virtual CMO is still as important as choosing the right internal employee, but it’s a much faster process. Plus, you get to find out everything about your virtual CMO and view their testimonials before you even pick up the phone.
Better long term outcomes
If you’ve been slaving away at your marketing on your own, then you most likely know that other business activities tend to get in the way, and your marketing falls to the wayside. A virtual CMO will be focused solely on your marketing while you can take care of everything else on your plate.
The best virtual CMOs out there have a wide experience across all facets of marketing. They look at the big picture and not just focus on one area of specialty. They also know how to help set and translate your business mission and objectives into a marketing strategy and close the loop with meaningful data and insights to keep the growth cycle continuing.
3. Better learning experience
You’re also bound to learn a lot from your virtual CMO, given they’re an expert in their field. The knowledge you gain from your relationship with your virtual CMO can help you regain control of your marketing activities as you learn the ropes. You can also have a virtual CMO help train an in-house marketing assistant, giving you a well-rounded internal employee for a fraction of the cost.
A virtual CMO is more of a colleague than an employee, so you won’t feel undermined as the boss when you need to ask questions or learn about marketing subjects that you don’t have knowledge or experience with. Aside from expertise, the best virtual CMOs are great communicators that will take the time to explain what they’re doing, and why and how they’re doing it.

How could those benefits help your business?

Hiring a virtual CMO is an advantage when you’re running a small-scale marketing team to promote your business. Having an expert on your side can help you build a more solid strategy and reach your marketing goals even faster.
An effective marketing strategy that’s executed under the guidance of a proven corporate professional at an affordable rate. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, not with a virtual CMO.

This article first appeared on and is posted here with permission.