‘Partial CMO’ – inside the rise of marketing efforts lacking by design


‘Love their life’

Most allocations to top outsiders are made through peer or private equity referrals. The company also markets its own services through a variety of thought leadership and online content activities. Partners and colleagues in the company also start business through private networks. Deployed marketers receive a percentage of the company’s deal with the company. With partners you get higher percentages and bonuses than new arrivals.

“Our top people are making far more than they earn in American companies,” Saxby said. “Some people make pretty much the same thing, but they love their lives. They like being able to say, ‘I’m interested in this project, but I don’t want it’. They can focus on the projects they are passionate about. They love to jump in and make big things happen. And they do it over and over again.”

Some observers tend to view the short marketer’s role as a kind of glorified freelancer. Their collection offers umbrellas and platforms. “I doubt it. [fractional CMOs] There are different motives and desired outcomes,” Sanderson said. “I think, for instance, there are people who are very happy to sometimes do consulting work, there are people who are still actively in search mode to find full-time jobs, and there are people who become fragmented CMOs and offer temporary employment and income. . Stay current in the market without the hassle of setting up your own LLC or consulting firm.”

Saxby says the Chief Outsiders roster has a fairly low turnover rate and high standards for membership. All 110 marketers currently involved have previously served as vice presidents of marketing or higher in operations companies, most of them Fortune 500 veterans. Saxby himself is a former vice president of marketing for Imperial Sugar and is a member of Coca-Cola Co., Kellogg Co. and Frito-Lay, where he served as brand manager, and the results of his later work said he was inspired to launch Chief Outsiders. A bankruptcy turnaround is made.

“I realized I could take the strategic marketing leadership I learned at these large companies. And when we applied it to midsize businesses, it made a difference,” he said. “I couldn’t have twice the size of Coca-Cola, but for this small company I could make a huge difference.”

tribal power

Every two weeks, Chief Outsiders’ marketers meet via Zoom to discuss challenges and share learnings and needs. This practice promotes a kind of accelerated learning rarely available to marketers in full-time jobs, while ensuring that top outsiders have the right people to solve their clients’ problems (the company’s Net Promoter Score Survey for Client Companies) to check cultural relevance, Saxby said.

“We have around 100 CMOs for the experience, so you can get into and work in a specific area of ​​marketing and have access to all the minds of a branding expert if I’m not a branding expert,” he said. Scott Koerner, Senior Outsider Partner. “There are many benefits to these programs. It was that opportunity that made me exist.”

Previous full-time positions include CMO of shoe company Shoes for Crews and developer of e-commerce business at Michaels Stores for 20 months as Chief Resolving E-Commerce Crisis at K&N. Outsider Representative working with JR Badian, former CMO of K&N.

K&N’s problem was related to poorly executed website updates, according to Koerner, so customers using the website read K&N’s 10,000+ model-specific aftermarket air filter, oil filter, intake and performance product lineup before purchasing. I had difficulties with Online or at an auto parts store. Koerner said sales plummeted “dramatically” but stabilized after about 90 days and grew again. The rest of the mission included strategies for maintaining performance and onboarding a full-time digital expert to take over after he left.

Badian said he wouldn’t consider himself a fragmented career, citing that he prefers to strategize and execute over the long term rather than seeing the typical project-based assignments and short tenures of a fragmented CMO. However, he has proven that in the case of K&N he is a good solution to a difficult problem with a handful of executives with professional experience.

“The truth is, there’s a lot to be said about tribal knowledge with people with experience in context,” Badian said. “If you look at the medical world, some doctors are general MDs, but many have specialties. Well, there are so many fields in marketing these days: brands, paid media, technology, data, pricing, innovation, etc., basically many CMOs have become general marketing practitioners.”

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After a long career as a marketer for companies such as Unilever, Materne North America and Shiseido, Philippe Harousseau joined the roster of Chief Outsiders a few weeks ago. He turned down a full-time CMO opportunity to do so.

“When I joined, I was told that the power of the tribe and that it could be harnessed. It’s a gem, not a selling point,” he said. “Being a CMO can be a little lonely at times. I was there. In this concept, you are not lonely because there are 110 people. We all know how to shape our vision, but we all have different specialties. It can make you smarter. It complements your skills.”

Are CMOs disappearing?

In some ways, the trend toward fragmented executives is accelerated by the impact of technology and reflects a shift in the way young people view their careers due to the impact of accelerated technology. Changes caused by infectious diseases. The same forces tend to shorten the tenure of full-time CMOs.

But how good this is for marketing is still debatable.

Many partial executives will say the changes have already changed enough to make “full-stack” CMOs a relic of the past. “It may have existed 10 or 20 years ago, but it doesn’t exist today,” Eckman said. “My observations have been that CEOs hire people they think are good marketing leaders and may have the skills to fit a specific CEO and their needs. However, these requirements change over the course of the business cycle and CMOs do not have the skills to transition to new business requirements. The pace of change has accelerated, especially in the last few years.”

Mann, former corporate CMO of Raines, now a recruiter, says both companies and marketers need to rethink their approach and re-establish the importance of marketing their business amid change. Undermarketing is an easy problem to solve.

“A great CMO can deliver profitable top-level results and fly multiple altitudes in a day,” Mann said.

She said the company has to deal with a business culture that places less emphasis on the role of marketers and marginalized top executives and top marketers. Only 44% of CMOs are considered members of the company’s management, according to a global mapping study that Raines conducted last year. 23% of CMOs believe the CEO doesn’t understand their job. And 21% feel unsure whether they match the CEO on key metrics for measuring performance.

“The real killer is that 50% of newly appointed CMOs typically have a non-marketing background in the strategic field,” she added.

Even if the CEO’s vision changes, marketers must apply their skills and creativity to align with the CEO’s vision, and learn how to aggregate consumer behavior information that has spread across departments due to the digital boom. This will help create a culture of management and marketing collaboration that is conducive to corporate success, and will bring some stability to the increasingly recurring careers of marketing professionals, Mann said.

“I think everyone wants to belong somewhere,” she said. “The older I get, the more I realize that culture-building is part of the conversation,” she said.

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