Why use an Interim or Outsource Marketing Manager?
Why use an Interim or Outsource Marketing Manager? Those fighting for market – that means sales to most of us, or start-ups struggling with an evolving market, have something in common. The need for perspective or expertise that’s probably not available within the business. The solution is to employ, but they can’t wait or don’t want the permanent cost of someone able to undertake a high-level project. Employing an Interim for the duration may be the lowest cost & risk option for many. And this is true for both small and larger concerns.
What is in Interim Manager? Someone who at short notice can provide ‘heavy-weight’ marketing expertise and resources to: effect change, address performance or manage a crisis. Change might mean: re-energising marketing & sales, new direction, business transformation, fast growth, acquisition integration or preparation for divestment for example.
Why use an Interim Manager? Because when a business has a commercial, marketing or sales issue, a good ‘Interim’ will have a track record proving that they can actually address it fast. And, because their next job depends on it – receiving a success-driven reference. More than that, Interims start quickly and come with little HR cost or risk.
So, what does an Interim offer?
A suitable Interim will have the experience to: engage, understand, and be effective very quickly. Generally, they’re over-qualified and bring expertise and abilities that aren’t available within the business – addressing skills and bandwidth gaps immediately. Coming from the ‘outside’, they’ll bring fresh perspective and objectivity to a problem and are able to provide honest external opinions and solutions.
How do Interims Engage?
A good Marketing Interim will have demonstrable commercial and entrepreneurial experience which they can bring to bear across business disciplines and sectors. They work at senior/director-level with the gravitas & authority to persuasively influence established thinking and processes. More than that, they’ll provide practical experience-driven solutions which they are accountable for delivering. Meaning action and not just ‘academic’ documents or advice.
An important point to remember is, Interims are paid on services, solutions and delivery – not attendance.
What’s the Approach and Process?
1. Exploration and Discussion sufficient to understand what the client wants, and to create an initial assessment of what’s required. This part of the process allows clients time to assess suitability of the Interim and mutual ‘fit’.
2. Research and Diagnosis of the ‘situation’ and understanding stakeholders’ perceived requirements. As understanding is established and solutions developed – problems which the client has not identified may come to light that will inform strategy and tactics.
3. Planning and Proposal Presentation of more detailed interim assignment remit, scope and objectives plan. With the Interim’s experience, this may differ from the first assessment and contest the client’s view. The interim will offer a solution most likely to be effective, not necessarily the one requested.
4. Management and Delivery The Interim will manage the project to delivery providing frequent Situation Reports. This is where Interims prove their expertise and value, closely managing teams whilst maintaining an independent professional perspective.
5. Knowledge Transfer and Training Close to project conclusion, the Interim will confirm objectives have been met and the client satisfied. Knowledge transfer and training will also take place so that mentored or newly recruited staff can maintain the momentum generated.
Typical Interim Marketing Engagements
Sales & Marketing Re-Energisation we need more inbound sales interest generating
Expansion/Acceleration ‘we’ve developed the product, but don’t know how to launch it’
Strategic Planning and Tactical Delivery ‘we have the capacity to deliver, but don’t have the expertise to create strategy’. An interim will provide strategic leadership along with mentoring and knowledge-transfer.
Market Analysis & Segmentation better appreciate what the market actually wants to present products and services more understandably
Business-transformation/Direction Change ‘folk think we do ‘this’, but are buying ‘that’’
Re/Positioning, Messaging and Branding and core content (the words) creation
Marketing Department Setup including recruitment/mentoring of Marketing Manager
Preparation for Sale or Divestment – realise the most of your investment
BrExit Readiness Ensure your business is ready to compete in a ‘dynamic’ BrExit market place