Updated: Oct 16
When getting a company off the ground, marketing can be a complete enigma. There are plenty of websites that offer great advice, but when it comes to designing a brand and launching with the necessary tools to start selling something, it gets intimidating… and expensive very fast.
A fractional CMO could be a valuable partner to recruit in the early stages of the launch. Not only can they help advise or even execute some of the initial critical launch tools, they also can do this in a way that can grow with you.
Here are a few of the common brand elements an organization needs to consider when launching with a comparison tool to help you choose the best option wisely.
Logo and Brand
There are a few online “free” logo makers available, and for someone in college trying to come up with a fake company to do a case study for a research paper, they work just fine. For a professional organization that wants to charge money to customers and attract investors, they fall way short.
For curiosity, we put our company name in one of these logo makers just to see what would happen. Tragic results ensued…
Without the in-depth connection with a brand that a human being offers, these template logos not only feel cold and sterile, they also seem like a step back about 25 years in design styling. A fractional CMO either will have the ability to create a strong brand themselves or know a good designer that will fit in a tight budget to get a stronger logo and brand option for your organization.
With most large design and digital marketing companies, the price tag can be intimidating. Most professional web developers charge at least $20,000 up to $100,000 for custom wireframe and storefront integration.
With the ease of Wordpress, Wix, iPage and other tools, there is a temptation to do it yourself. However, if you’ve never developed a website before or have no background in marketing or design, the canned templates only will carry you so far before looking unprofessional.
The screenshot below is from an actual company site that is live right now. Often companies like this one inadvertently publish template content, which just looks bad all around. If you are going to DIY the website, please make sure pages with template content are hidden or populated with something relevant to your business.
When hiring a website resource, make sure you have access to the site to make small edits and changes and are not locked into an expensive “maintenance” agreement. This hijacking practice is not just common in the web development world, it’s a standard practice to ensure recurring revenue for the agency. A good fractional CMO can work with your hosting environment or help get your website moved to a secure hosting option that allows you to have the keys to the backend and the ability edit the site too.
Social media pages also are “free” to set up, but unless you have the correct graphic template sizes and other brand elements, these too can look unflattering, especially if there is no plan to populate them with regular content. Your organization also may not need to have a presence on every social media platform. If you are a B2B business, LinkedIn may be your best option to reach your potential customers. If you are marketing to Gen Z, then Instagram and TikTok will be your socials of choice.
Just keep in mind that social media is the free puppy of the marketing toolkit. Once you start it, you must have a plan to care and feed it… forever.
Trade Shows, Advertising and other bottomless pits
New companies are easy targets for advertisers looking for new revenue sources, and tradeshows can seem like a great investment until you add up exactly how much you will spend to show up in a professional manner and manage the booth, as well as follow up from the leads you may or may not acquire.
Good advertising campaigns require both frequency and consistency, so if you don’t plan to launch a six-month campaign, don’t waste money on a single ad. Many industry publications have value-added opportunities and partnership levels that can make sense, so investigate wisely before spending money. Digital ads also may seem like a cheaper way to get in front of a target audience, and that can be true depending on your target audience and the value you hope to achieve.
A fractional CMO can help you sort through where the best places might be for an advertising or tradeshow investment.