How to convince your boss to hire an FCMO

Emotional middle-aged Asian lady points at a blank text bubble.

Anita is tired.

She and the rest of the team have been hitting a wall in their marketing efforts, but you can’t really blame them — none of them have done this before!

The business is growing, and the team is doing their best to take on responsibilities and meet marketing goals. But the truth is… they’re working outside of their wheelhouses. No one on the team has marketing experience. Maybe the company will eventally hire a CMO (chief marketing officer) — but that’s just not possible right now.

Without experience, the team is suffering.

They need guidance from someone skilled in developing marketing strategies.

They need someone who can provide insight and best practices from their experiences.

They need an expert who can help them analyze data and evaluate effectiveness.

After researching, Anita is convinced that they need to hire a fractional CMO (FCMO) to get the marketing ball rolling. 

There’s just one *little* problem.

Anita isn’t the boss.

She recognizes the solution, but she’s not the decision-maker. How can Anita convince management that they need to hire an FCMO?

Time to break out her notes from her Communications 201 class on writing a persuasive speech…

The secret to change

Chances are good that you’ve seen an ad promising a no-fail, guaranteed method to getting results for something.

Maybe it’s getting in shape, learning a new language, or some other way of becoming the person that you want to be.

Maybe you’ve even taken the initial steps toward achieving this goal (like purchasing an expensive piece of exercise equipment).

Let me ask you a question — did it work? Did the “guaranteed method” bring the results the ad promised?

Unfortunately, many of us find out quickly that it takes more than a fancy exercise bike to get in shape (although mine IS a fairly effective laundry-drying rack!).

There is a secret to getting results… but it isn’t as easy as clicking the “Buy Now” button.

Whether it’s getting in shape, learning to play the guitar, or convincing management to hire an FCMO, the secret to change is deciding that you need to change.

In reality, getting buy-in from leadership has very little to do with what you say…

…and EVERYTHING to do with the level of pain the business is experiencing from not having a marketing expert!

Anita could write the best persuasive speech of her life, but even her best speech might not be enough (by itself) to convince her boss.

Until it’s more painful for a business to stay the same than it is to take a risk and make a change — they aren’t going to make a move to hire an FCMO.

Pain is convincing

While we definitely agree with Anita that her business needs marketing leadership, we also understand the fears of the management.

  • Maybe they’re unfamiliar with the FCMO model and strategy.
  • Hiring an outsider to be on the executive team is a big change.
  • Trusting your business’s marketing and growth to an FCMO can feel risky.
  • How do you know an FCMO will get results for your business?

But if a lack of marketing expertise is a significant, recurring pain point, it’s not going to change until you make a change.

There’s always a risk in making a change. But when it comes to hiring an FCMO, here are some questions to ask that can help you decide whether they’re a good fit for your business:

  • Why are you an FCMO instead of a CMO?
  • How have you seen results with your other clients?
  • What are you working on now? 

Making the change to hire a marketing executive is a big decision, and the leadership wants to make sure they’re putting their trust in someone who’ll deliver results.

At 8 SIGNAL, we’ve seen the difference that great marketing can make for a business. We’re passionate about using our expertise to grow businesses and give them the tools to meet their goals. We offer fractional services because we love the challenge and flexibility of working with different clients — and we bring strategies from across industries.

Pain points → change

Like we said earlier, change only comes when it’s too painful to remain the same. But what if you’re in Anita’s position, and you aren’t sure the leadership understands the team’s pain points? 

What are some things you can do to help management understand the need for change and how an FCMO could provide solutions?

  1. Communicate the team’s pain level.
  2. Define the team’s needs (and what’s lacking).
  3. Convince the IT person to set your boss’s computer homepage to 8 SIGNAL’s fractional services website.

Okay, just kidding about that last one…

But if you (or your boss) would like to know more about fractional services and how FCMOs lead marketing teams (or build marketing structure from the ground up), check out our other blog posts.

A change worth the risk

Change can be a risk. But if your business needs marketing help, it’s a risk worth taking. At 8 SIGNAL, we’d love to help your business develop innovative marketing strategies that will take you to the next level.