James: James Schramko here from SuperFastBusiness.com, chatting to my friend, Will Wang from GrowthLabz.com. Good day, Will.
Will: Hey, James.
James: You’re a specialist marketing agency, you provide full services, and you also provide fractional CMO services, which is you coming into a business, and being their chief marketing officer, sharing you with a few other businesses. So that obviously makes it a lot cheaper than having to go out, spend a couple of thousand dollars for a hotshot, who may or may not do a good job. So I like this concept. But there must be some kind of user manual or great advice you could have for someone considering a fractional CMO and how to get the best results from their investment.
Will: Yeah, definitely. So I think my one biggest take when I talk to potential clients is, let’s de-risk this for you. Let’s take all the risk off your plate and make sure that we’ve got the right fit. So one of the biggest problems that I see with businesses hiring, whether it’s a fractional CMO or it’s an agency, is that they jump in too quickly. And you know, they just don’t pick the right partner for them. So my biggest takeaway for you listening or watching this is get your CMO or your marketing team to work to your business goals, and have them present you a strategy that’s going to help you shape the growth that you want to grow to, or the growth rate that you’re aiming for.
So for example, with some of our clients that work with us on a fractional-CMO basis, we actually do a strategy session at the very beginning, that goes on for a couple of days. We lay out exactly how we’re going to help them hit their business KPIs. Not marketing KPIs, not, you know, marketing numbers, but the business goals, How much they want to grow by, when they want to do that growth by, and what resources they’ve got to help them hit that runway. So it’s really important to make sure your CMO, your fractional CMO, aligns with your business goals, and that he or she has an experience, or has a plan that’s going to get you to where you want to go.
James: What about from an operational basis, keeping in mind that some of the types of businesses who would consider a fractional CMO probably have some team members in place within their business, but may also need some of the gaps filled from people within the fractional CMO agency, in your case GrowthLabz.com? You might fulfill some functions, but then you might have a sort of in-house creatives or in-house ad manager, etc., that you’re having to work with. How do you have that functional relationship?
Will: Yeah, so typically, at the moment, our clients start talking to us, they’ve grown the business really well. They’re quite a successful business by that point already. But they’ve hit the limits of growth, or the limits of what their internal team member in marketing or sales can actually do. So what we actually do is we look at, well, what’s stopping it from growing? Is it a people issue, a capacity issue, or a knowledge or skills and strategy issue? And then we bring the necessary missing pieces.
So for example, one of my clients, they’ve got a really good marketer from a brand perspective, but they don’t really understand direct response marketing as well as they can, as well as we can help them with. So we come in, we work with the brand person, we make sure they’re happy and comfortable. And we work as if we’re team members, bringing the complementary skills from my team, whether it’s design, or tech, or even copy that I do. And we work together to make sure that the marketing department as a whole is moving the business towards its growth goals and targets.
James: How do you do it? Do you do it in meetings? Do you do it in a project system? What’s the typical cadence of these things?
Will: Yeah, so we start off with a plan for the business’ internal teams and our team has to agree with together. So we start with a really big strategy session that sometimes goes over a couple of days. And we really lay out what the resources are, the opportunities, the challenges, the threats are, and we really analyze, really, in detail, what we need to do to help the company grow. And then we each commit to our parts of the plan. So for example, internal marketing team could commit that they’re going to do X number of content pages every single month. And we’ll agree that we’re going to take that content and use it to go and get leads. So that’s just one really quick example. There’s so many different ways of working at it, it really is about finding the best solution for the business, and helping the business get the best return on investment. And that’s the second part of it, to make sure that you’re tracking everything, you’re holding your marketing agency to account. But you’re also giving them the support both from the business leaders and CEOs, and also the internal marketing or sales team, and giving them the support to do what they do best, but at the same time keeping them accountable to helping the business grow together.
James: I’m gonna press this point, though, where do we keep this accountable? Is this happening in your management system or their management system? Or is it on a phone call? Is it via email or what?
Will: Yeah, so we actually do weekly reporting, plus weekly phone calls, and we report off the same stats every single week. So wherever it’s number of leads, cost per lead number of sales, we actually act as part of their internal team. So we’re in their Slack channels, we’re shooting off emails to them every single day, we’re looking at every single lead that comes through, but it really depends on how your business wants to work. I always said more communication is always better. So whether that’s us actually acting as your team, or it’s some other way where we set a cadence of regular reporting, it’s super important to make sure that you are talking to each other very regularly and keeping communications open.
James: Love it, Will. Will Wang, GrowthLabz.com. Thank you so much for sharing today.
Will: Thanks, James.
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