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Effectively Police & Build Your Brand with a Chief Marketing Officer

A business can’t outpace its brand for long and hope to compete. Without an up-to-date brand, a company’s products and services lose their relevancy to its target audience. From startups that prioritize developing their brand only after they gain traction with customers, to multi-national corporations who are breaking into a new market, a lagging brand can rob a business of its full potential.

The problem is even more complex when you consider that most people don’t know how to spot a brand that’s in trouble, due in part to the fact that they don’t know what impacts it. A brand consists of more than just a logo; it encompasses all the various elements that differentiate your company from another. These aspects certainly include your company identity program (name, logo tagline), as well as your online and offline sales and marketing materials, but a brand is also comprised of your products/services, people, physical space, and face-to-face or virtual demeanor. All of these elements (or touch points) create a perception in the minds and/or hearts of the marketplace when they come into contact with them.

Protecting Your Investment

Regardless the size of your organization, you’ve made some level of investment into marketing your business. Whether you operate a startup with multiple team members juggling marketing as they focus on other critical responsibilities or you’ve hired a team, including a marketing director earning over $126,000 a year and media managers who earn just below $100,000, your business needs to see a return on its investment.

Plus, as the opportunities for marketing continue to evolve, there’s increased fragmentation that requires more oversight of your brand to make sure that it’s consistent across all touch points. Without coordination, your business can generate individualized marketing campaigns that work against each other instead of cooperatively. This can lead to confusion about what your brand represents. And confusion often results in a loss of revenue.

So who’s policing your brand to make sure it serves its purpose?

There’s a New Sheriff in Town

If you aren’t familiar with the title, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), it’s the badge given to the person whose primary responsibilities include developing and managing the implementation of marketing strategies, facilitating sales, and improving the company’s growth. The person holding this title operates at the C-level, and reports directly to the CEO. It’s the only role in an organization that combines left-brain (pricing, research and analytics,) and right-brain (promotions and advertising) actions, balancing innovative thinking with practical solutions. The person in this role must coordinate the needs of sales, IT, finance, customer service, and more.

Do you have someone in your organization that fits this job description?

A CMO Can Fill the Vital Voids

Even if you have talented people in your marketing department, you may still have voids that you’re not aware of, and they could be dramatically impacting the effectiveness of your marketing investment. However, here’s a list of important questions for you to perform a quick audit to ensure that all of your bases are covered:

  • Do you have someone in marketing that has the experience to communicate at the C-level and translate how marketing impacts business decisions?
  • Can they create and/or effectively coordinate the strategies across all marketing channels, including advertising, public relations, social media, email marketing, and more?
  • Are they aware of the various tools available for implementing and measuring ROI?
  • Can they decipher data and analytics into meaningful action?
  • Do they have the experience to help you strategically grow in your current market or within a new market?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you’re in need of a Chief Marketing Officer. Before you place an ad on one of the job boards, however, consider outsourcing the CMO role. Outsourcing can benefit your organizations in many ways, from quickly bringing in expertise that you currently lack, along with a fresh, outside-in perspective, to leveraging talent on a short-term basis when you need to fill in some gaps. Such a strategy can be far more cost effective than investing in a CMO on a more permanent basis.

For more information about how your business can benefit from outsourcing your Chief Marketing Officer responsibilities, visit our CMO page and call us at (410) 366-9479 ext. 2#. 

Dina Wasmer is President of Incite Creative, a marketing and graphic design firm that provides brand-building services and strategies for small-to-middle-market businesses and non-profit organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Additionally, Dina is an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore teaching typography and graphic design principles. For more information, log onto www.incitecreativeinc.com or contact dina@incitecreativeinc.com

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