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When Is A Fractional CMO The Right Choice For Your Business?

Fractional or interim CMOs are a common choice for startups and small businesses that can’t yet afford or don’t yet need a full-time CMO. In the earliest days, many businesses don't have 40 hours of CMO-level work each week, and fractional services can be a way to get the benefits of CMO experience for less than the salary of a full-time employee. However, this is just one situation in which fractional CMOs can help. 

Have you considered what a fractional CMO can offer to established enterprise-level businesses?

While some fractional CMO services focus on covering the basics for small businesses, others are designed specifically to take successful businesses to the next level.

So, is a fractional CMO the right choice for your business? What can they offer that you won’t get from a full-time CMO?

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What the term “fractional CMO” really means
  • Why so many businesses are looking for fractional CMOs
  • ...
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What to Spend on Marketing: Marketing Budget Benchmark Report + Calculator

You can have the best marketing team, the most creative campaigns, and an incredible product-market fit, but if you don’t have the right budget to power your marketing, your efforts will fall flat.

Many businesses aren't spending the appropriate amount on marketing to hit their targets. There are several reasons why this might be the case for your business—including not knowing if your spending is in line with other companies of your size and vertical. 

You might have heard various percentages of revenue or total budget suggested as the average amount to spend on marketing, but the reality is more complex. The amount businesses spend on marketing depends on their vertical and the company size.

This benchmark report shows how companies are spending their money on marketing. The raw data is drawn from Deloitte's CMO Survey 2021 and Gartner's Annual CMO Spend Survey 2020-2021. We’ve organized it so you can see at a...

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Marketing Leaders: Here’s what to expect from a How To SaaS engagement

If your business is considering bringing in an external marketing consultant, it's likely that the in-house marketing leaders will have (and should have!) a lot of questions. These questions might include:

Will the benefits Marketing sees actually warrant the time and expense of the engagement? 

Does the consultant have the relevant experience to understand your business and give valuable insights?

Will they work with your team to make changes, or will they just hand you a list of unrealistic recommendations? 

At How To SaaS, our team is made up of marketing professionals, and almost all of us have been in this position. We've asked these questions, and we've often been frustrated by how vague some consultants are in their answers. 

We want your experience with How To SaaS to be different. To help you get a clearer picture of what working with us means for your marketing department, this article covers what you need to know: 

  • What a How To SaaS...
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How insightsoftware Built a Marketing Foundation for Growth

 

“We were on a hyper-growth trajectory and going through multiple acquisitions a year,” recalls Lacey Ford, former Senior VP of Marketing at insightsoftware, a financial reporting solution provider. After 14 acquisitions in the space of just a couple of years, "what we needed was to build the foundational elements to scale the business as quickly as possible,” Lacey explains. 

From a marketing perspective, there were three fundamental areas insightsoftware needed help developing: getting the team structure right, building the data infrastructure, and scaling the demand gen engine. 



Read on to hear how Lacey and insightsoftware managed to: 

  • Pick a consulting option that balanced strategy and implementation
  • Scale inbound lead generation to 2x
  • Uncover areas of over- and under-investment in marketing
  • Build a marketing team with the skills to support their growth


Choosing the Right Consultant

Lacey started looking at various consulting options...

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Price Transparency

Increased price transparency helps everyone win.

  • Customers win because they can self-serve and identify if a solution is a good fit for them.
  • Sales wins because they have conversations with more qualified prospects who understand what they're in for.
  • Marketing wins because all MQL thresholds include price education earlier in the buyer journey.

Most importantly, efficiency increases because far less time is spent on having customers jump through hoops to get a pricing 1-pager that they cannot afford.

Even if you're a B2B enterprise company with a $100K offering. Boldly put your starting price point on a pricing page for the world to see.

Your whole Go-To-Market motion will improve and your buyers will trust you more.

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Shifting Marketing’s Accountability: Look inside Post-Acquisition Marketing

Most PE-backed businesses aren't getting the full value from Marketing as a growth lever.

To start changing that for your portfolio companies, take a look at Shiv Narayanan's new book, Post-Acquisition Marketing: How to create enterprise value in the first 100 days. Here's what you'll learn: 

    

One of the key areas the book covers is how to effectively shift Marketing's accountability. Below is an excerpt from Post-Acquisition Marketing that reveals:

  • Why Marketing's current accountability is stalling revenue growth
  • The data Marketing should be tracking
  • A real-life case study of a business that made this switch

 

Shifting Marketing’s Accountability

“I need to know the truth, and I need to know it fast.”

Those were Henry’s first words on his first call with me, shortly after Fleetsync, his fleet-management software company,  was acquired by the private equity firm North Star Capital. 

Henry was the new...

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How Mailprotector Expanded Their Marketing Scope with How To SaaS

 

“One of our biggest challenges was the fact that our entire lead flow was single-channel,” David Setzer, Founder and CEO at Mailprotector explains. “We work in a community environment, so it's a very event-driven lead flow. That was working great, but after raising our series A, we needed to expand the inbound lead channels to more than just relying on one channel. It can be cyclical at times, so being able to have a consistent lead flow and also tap other potential partners that aren't at events or in these communities was just absolutely critical for us.”

With their new funding, Mailprotector was poised to grow. But they had been playing zone defense on marketing, and they knew they needed some support here to help them build their pipeline in a data-driven, scalable way. 

David first met Shiv Narayanan, Founder and CEO of How To SaaS, at a private equity entrepreneur event. He soon realized that they completely aligned on their philosophy of the...

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How HelpSystems Optimized Marketing for Even Higher ROI

 

If your business already has a mature marketing function that delivers a steady flow of leads, it's tempting to let marketing continue on autopilot while you focus on improving other functions. But, chances are, this approach means you miss out on even higher conversion rates, lower CAC, and more closed-won deals that are easily within reach. As security and automation software company HelpSystems discovered, businesses in this situation are in an ideal position to make low-effort but high-ROI adjustments to existing campaigns and processes. 

Although HelpSystems already had an effective marketing engine in place, they wanted to further increase the number of quality leads they were generating. “While we were continuously patting ourselves on the back for all the great things we were doing, we wondered what else we could be doing,” recalls Mike Devine, Vice President of Marketing at HelpSystems.

So, when...

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Sales Reveals Broken Processes

 

Increased sales volume breaks internal processes.

As you close more deals, your organization has to figure out a way to deal with increased complexity.

This is where questions like the following become increasingly important:

  1. How can we deliver faster?
  2. How can we increase automation across the business?
  3. How many people do we need to scale?
  4. What will our margin be as we scale?
  5. What is the core business we are in?
  6. Which opportunities should we say no to?
  7. What kind of operational framework will help us scale to the next level?
  8. What should our product focus on to help us scale even more?
  9. What are our scaling bottlenecks?
  10. Who do we need in which seats to scale?

These kinds of questions only become relevant and evident as sales volume crosses certain thresholds.

This is one of the most undervalued contributions of sales: As more deals are closed, the organization is given an opportunity to examine key strategic questions that would otherwise remain unaddressed.

As those questions...

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Mental Health vs Productivity

Rethinking meetings for mental health and productivity is more important now than ever before. Here are 12 principles worth following:

  1. Don’t use the full scheduled window
  2. Gamify / add rewards for ending meetings earlier
  3. Don’t attend meetings you don’t need to be present for
  4. Don’t invite everyone possible to a meeting
  5. Add a 5-10 minute buffer minimum between meetings
  6. 7 to 10 minute meetings are often all that’s needed
  7. Longer meetings don’t equal increased value
  8. Sometimes the best meeting is no meeting
  9. Use asynchronous communication (Loom, Slack) instead of meetings
  10. Cancel / push unnecessary meetings every morning
  11. Change frequency of recurring meetings. They don't need to be as frequent as you think.
  12. Try to purposely take a day / afternoon / morning off meetings
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