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  • Writer's pictureMartin Bispels

Looking for a Traditional Marketing Agency? Think Twice

You’ve recently launched your new business, and now you’re turning your attention away from the initial stages of financing and staffing and shifting toward a new goal: growth. This means you’re no longer pitching to potential investors and are instead fixed on building your digital footprint and streamlining the way you gather and process marketing data.

As you’ve noticed, the challenges of “head marketer” have suddenly expanded tenfold…and it’s no longer reasonable for you (the founder/CEO/visionary) to dedicate your time to a task that requires specialized expertise. You’ll need a certified pro—ideally a person or team with marketing-specific education and experience. If you’re like most small, growing, or mid-sized businesses, someday you may want to hire an in-house chief marketer, but since your current budget limits your hiring capability and you don’t require a 40-hour week, that day hasn’t arrived just yet. So, you’ll face two primary options: a traditional marketing agency or an independent (fractional) CMO who you’ll retain on contingency basis. Here are a few reasons to skip the first and choose the second.

Overhead Costs

Retaining an agency means contributing to a cost structure that includes overhead: a building and lease, parking, cleaning services, lights that stay on all day, etc, etc. Protect your bottom line by crossing those items off the list. An interim CMO works in her own office and manages her own parking, so you don’t have to worry about that. When you retain a major consulting firm, you pay for everything from staff benefits to legal settlements. Don’t do that. Stay lean and make sure your investment supports the creativity and productivity of your marketing pro—nothing else.


Do you need eight people to sign off on each minor decision? Probably not. But when you team up with an agency, that’s what you’ll get. Redundancy, bureaucracy, and managers managing managers won’t help you reach your goals faster or communicate more directly with your target customers. Layers of contact and an army of liaisons standing between you and your creative team may make you feel insulated from human error, but this feeling of security isn’t always warranted and is almost always expensive. When you outsource your marketing operation to a fractional CMO, your expert is a phone call away.


Staying focused, lean and in control means carefully evaluating what you need before you settle on a solution. Set your sites on a CMO who understands your market and holds experience in your industry, and watch out for the overspecialization that often results from a contract with a marketing agency. A precision expert in email drip campaigns may not be able to handle ad sales, data analysis, SEO, or logo design. Find a flexible pro who can give you all of what you need and a minimum of what you don’t.

Need help choosing a marketing solution that works for your unique business model? Contact Vendre Innovations! We’ll arrange a consultation and connect you with a fractional CMO who can keep you focused on growth.


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