1. Tell me about your general marketing experience?
These days it is easy to find less expensive resources who may be knowledgeable in 1 or 2 marketing disciplines, such as SEO or content marketing. Your CMO, however, should have a strong general marketing background. After all, the channels one uses to market today may have changed, but it is still marketing and knowing how the different pieces can work together in synchronicity is a key element in developing a winning marketing strategy.
2. Are you knowledgeable in Digital Marketing?
Let’s face it, things have gone digital. Your customers are online, and you should be as well. That doesn’t mean that digital is the only way to market, but it will be a key component of any modern marketing strategy. And while it is still marketing, the multitude of digital channels create significant opportunities to engage with your prospects in interesting ways. Your fractional CMO should know which digital levers to pull and when.
3. Who will be implementing my programs?
Your fractional CMO should review your current marketing and improve on what is working and discontinue what is not, but he or she should also recommend additional strategies and tactics, such as leveraging Facebook or LinkedIn. These campaigns require not only the high-level strategy, but also the on-the-ground execution. Will the execution be outsourced to freelancers or contractors? Has your fractional CMO ever worked with them before? How many other jobs will they be doing? A good fractional CMO will have dedicated resources that he knows, trusts, and can direct to ensure you quick response and flawless execution.
4. Do you have executive-level experience?
In addition to a wide-ranging knowledge of marketing and modern tactics, your fractional CMO should have executive-level experience. You are not just relying on his or her ability to know when to execute a particular campaign, but also to understand the higher-level issues that your company may face and how to deal with them. You don’t learn that from a book. You learn that by years of experience serving on management teams. Your fractional CMO should have that experience.
5. What kind of reporting and accountability can I expect?
Your company’s marketing efforts should be transparent. You should know where your money is going and what results you are achieving. Pretty websites and cool logos are one thing, but profitable sales are better.
Your marketing should be geared toward generating profitable revenue growth and progress (or lack thereof) toward that goal should be easily and transparently available. If your fractional CMO can’t or is unwilling to deliver this, that may mean adequate tracking is not in place. Without that, data-driven decisions cannot be made, and data-driven decision are at the heart of winning marketing programs.
6. What kind of infrastructure do you have?
Is your fractional CMO a one-man shop or are there other executive-level minds working with him or her to exchange ideas and cross-pollinate strategies? Nothing is inherently wrong with a one-man shop provided the person is not stretched too thin over too many clients, but multiple minds are generally better than one.
What about cost-effectiveness? A fractional CMO should be developing strategy and overseeing implementation. Executive-level resources are too expensive to spend on implementation. Those activities should be performed by lower-cost resources under the watchful eye of your fractional CMO to ensure cost-efficiencies. Your fractional CMO should have the infrastructure in place to deliver that.