As an Interim Marketing Director or CMO, where should you focus your efforts?

It’s 2024, and despite almost every form marketing being widely accessible, not every business is actively engaged in marketing.  

It seems strange to us, but it’s the way it is.  

Most businesses, both small, and larger established corporates are engaged in some form of marketing, with most opting for the ‘build it and leave it’ approach. A bit of social media here and there, a website that was built 5 years ago, which gets a blog added every now and then. Sound familiar?  

Some of this will be down to the availability of funds, or perhaps the lack of it, but more often it’s about the mindset and culture of the business. This perhaps, unsurprisingly goes hand in hand with the 2024 predicted rise of interim CMO roles and the ‘try before you buy’ approach to hiring marketing employees.  

Again, a bit strange to us, but it seems to be the way it is.  

When it’s done well, marketing should align with business growth objectives. It should always understand the needs and motivations of customers. It should provide a seamless experience for customers to interact and convert. It should be set up in a way you can track metrics against objectives. This is something no two marketers will approach in the same way. 

There are many different reasons for companies hiring interim marketing resource, but one thing is for certain when you start, it’s often challenging knowing where to prioritise your attention and effort. 

We’ve included our top five focus areas for any new marketing director or CMO: 

The Strategic Vision 

As an Interim Marketing Director, your primary focus should be to review the current marketing strategy and ensure it aligns with the current direction of the business. Most businesses going through a growth period don’t realign new business objectives with their marketing strategy. It means that marketing teams lack direction for where and how to prioritise their efforts. Revisiting both the marketing and business strategy to align them means you can set expectation for your leadership team and well as clearly communicating your vision to your new team. 

Team Leadership and Collaboration 

Your team is one of your biggest assets, as an interim marketing leader it’s your responsibility to ensure they understand your vision and direction for the time you are in your role. It’s also important to ensure collaboration with sales and customer success teams, as well as the wider organisation to help with shared customer learning and breaking down silos to provide seamless customer experiences.  

Data-Driven Decision Making 

In today’s digital age, data is a powerful asset, possibly the most important asset. What customer data does your new business have? How can you use it in a more effective way? More and more customers are looking for personalised experiences when they interact with brands, what are you able to put in place to action this?  

Marketing Effectiveness Audit  

How effective has your new companies marketing been to date? What’s working? What’s not working?  

Sometimes when you have a limited amount of time an audit can feel like it shouldn’t be one of your top priorities but you’re missing out on a whole load of context. Marketing effectiveness audits not only give you a more complete picture of channel performance but also help you understand your customers behaviour and how you can adapt your marketing to accommodate it.  

Marketing audits also highlight areas for data collection improvement, many businesses still don’t have accurate marketing tracking in place. Reviewing channels and analytics allow you to identify opportunities for improvements in these areas that will allow you to demonstrate your value.  

Agility in Marketing Campaigns 

Marketing landscapes can change rapidly. As can your customers’ needs and motivations. Being able to stay agile and adapt your campaign strategies to not only pivot and keep business targets on track but also meet the needs of your customers will help you maximise your return on investment (ROI). 

Interim Marketing Leadership roles can be both great and daunting, but it’s a great opportunity to realign and reset the marketing direction. Often, marketing has taken a back foot or hasn’t had a refresh for a while, so embrace the opportunity. Good luck – and if you need support or a shoulder to cry on, our door is always open! 

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