Most small to medium sized businesses spend a great deal of their time working to bring in new sales.  We all know that without sales a business will shrivel up and fade away.  The same holds true for digital marketing.

When I talk to my clients and prospects about their business they often tell me that they have a sales and marketing “department”, but that generally means one or two people trying to do it all. *shiver*

The way I see it, “sales” is an activity, and “marketing” is developing the strategy that sales will use to add business.  They are separate activities and in most cases the same person can’t do both.  This is especially true when you add digital marketing to the mix.  No one person can keep up with the speed of technology change, how to apply that to marketing the business as a whole, and try to do sales at the same time.

I believe that with many small to medium sized businesses it would make sense to “rent” a Digital CMO (chief marketing officer).  This person can help you identify the digital niches and avenues that your business should pursue and what strategies would have a high probability of success.  Here are some reasons I think this idea makes sense:

  • Your business is not big enough to afford a full time Digital Chief Marketing Officer or staff.  “Renting” a Digital CMO and staff can be a cost effective way to acquire solid technical knowledge and a strong digital marketing strategy to grow your company.
  • Renting a Digital CMO can allow you to keep your digital marketing fresh. When you rent a Digital CMO you have the opportunity to see if they’re any good.  Having them work on a contract basis will give you the flexibility to let them go if they can’t deliver.
  • Renting a Digital CMO allows you to change focus as your business needs change. A really great Digital CMO can not only guide you in the best digital strategies for marketing your business, but since they follow and understand the technologies that are being used, they can also give you ideas on how to enhance or expand your products and services using those same technologies.  One example would be helping an onsite training company use existing technologies to add virtual, or online, training classes to their product and service line.
  • Lastly, you can buy better talent on a rental basis than a permanent one. Renting a Digital CMO and staff allows you to pay a lot less for their services that you would if they were full time employees.  Since your Digital CMO and their staff would be “part time”, you would only pay for what you use.  Plus, if they are full timers, you would have the added expense of taxes, health insurance, and other benefits.
  • BONUS: Renting a Digital CMO and staff can fill the gap for companies that are too big to handle their own digital marketing strategies, but are too small to need a Madison Avenue marketing firm.

I’m a big fan of getting the right people on the bus, whether that is done by hiring them as full time staff, or as in this discussion, “renting” them to get a specific job done. 

The world of digital marketing is ever changing, and will be for some time to come.  The companies that start integrating digital strategies now will be light years ahead of their competition, even just two years down the road.  Those companies that choose to take a “wait and see” approach, may find themselves closing up shop in five years or less. 

So my last bit of advice, have a conversation with a high quality Digital CMO and see what thoughts or ideas they bring to the table to help grow your business.  You may be surprised by the creativity and innovation, and the lower price point as well.

As always, if I can be of service to you or your company in developing or managing your digital strategy, do not hesitate to contact me. Also, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below or send them to