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An interesting statistic: 97% of businesses in New Zealand employ less than 20 employees[1]. This suggests that our business owners are still relying on permanent staff to fulfil operational requirements rather than exploring other options such as how a part-time Chief Marketing Officer can provide the insight and expertise to accelerate growth.

New Zealand is part of a wider global shift towards flexible working. In a study conducted by Freelancers Union in 2014, 34% of the total workforce in the USA was freelance and this is expected to balloon to 50% by 2020. This was also supported by Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends study stating half of global executives planned to increase the use of flexible and independent workers in the next three to five years.

With these statistics and the emergence of an accessible global workforce with the likes of Upwork and Expert360, it’s only a matter of time before New Zealand’s SMEs fully appreciate the value of contracting strategy consultants to support their business growth beyond the 20 employee threshold.

So, what does this mean for NZ business and the role of the CMO? The role of Chief Marketing Officer has changed considerably over the last 10 years and will continue to develop. CEOs and Boards already appreciate how digital disruption has changed the role of a Chief Marketing Officer with new media, digital analytics and fragmenting customer segments transforming the effectiveness of marketing. However, this development also means that the role is more complex than ever before so it is vital to seek more specific expertise.

In this digital age, businesses have to ensure that they have an online presence, generating regular content and working towards inbound lead generation. In the majority of smaller businesses, these tasks are often driven by entry level employees rather than senior executives with the necessary skillset to ensure that key messages are relayed to the customer base and that social media engagement works within a clear digital media strategy. Without the insight and leadership offered by a dedicated CMO, it can be challenging for businesses to ensure that they are targeting the market, service or buyer persona that suits the business best.

We believe that the role of CMO starts with financial forecasting and strategy modelling to ascertain the market potential. In some cases, this may also require multiple market assessments and acquisition opportunities to ensure that the marketing strategy perfectly suits the growth plans of the business. This analysis also determines whether the business model is feasible, what success will look like and how long it will take. Business can have superb marketing campaigns with high quality design and eloquent messaging, yet see minimal returns as a result of missing potential “gold mine” opportunities in a different market segment, failing to ascertain the value of a particular sales channel or targeting too broad or too narrow a market to be truly effective.

A CMO can present the CEO and Board with a viable and effective marketing strategy with deliverable key performance indicators (KPIs) that are aligned to the business model and expected growth rates targeted by the company. Every individual in the sales, marketing and product team from the shop floor to the senior team should appreciate what value they bring to the business by fulfilling the KPIs.

Although a dedicated CMO may seem unnecessary for the very smallest businesses or start-ups, a CMO’s involvement can be scaled to ensure that it matches the needs of the business to fulfil growth plans and overcome current challenges. Understanding your market, customers and the best methods to engage with them will ensure the business is well positioned for scale.

The following diagram is part of our launch framework on how best to position your high level CMO strategy for success. What box does your brand align with and are you adopting these approaches?


In summary, by investing in a CMO, even on a part time basis of just four hours a week, can ensure you are focusing your sales, marketing and product initiatives in the best areas to ensure maximum returns. A CMO will also be fully involved in reviewing results and finetuning the strategy implementation to ensure results are maximised throughout the duration of the marketing strategy.

How we boosted the global profile of a gym software business

GymMaster lacked a dedicated marketing team and approached us to provide marketing insight to build the profile of the software company in New Zealand and to a wider global audience.

We provided a part-time CMO solution to research and use financial modelling to assess the viability of the product in other markets. Once target markets were selected, we created and implemented a strategy to reach the desired customers which involved rebranding and content generation to generate site visits and increase sales.

By developing a strategy to create a support team and improve customer service we ensured that current customer relationships were solidified and helped to build our client’s global reputation.

Since our partnership, GymMaster has expanded to become one of the top gym software solutions worldwide and is ranked first on a Google search. Our client saw its monthly income increase sixfold over the three years of our partnership, the fundamentals we put into place allowed GymMaster to then appoint full-time equivalents which has since led to a soar in revenue.

[1]Statistics New Zealand Business Demography, Feb 2017

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