5 Crucial Reasons Why CMOs Take a Backseat to Digital Marketing Agencies

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So, your business is growing and you’ve decided it’s time to add a marketing professional to your team. But, who should you hire?

Here’s something we can both agree on: the goal of a marketer is to increase company revenue.

And that’s not all… Successful marketers also need to have the expertise and flexibility to overcome major strategy-altering obstacles, including economic, technological, and political changes. This is where digital marketing agencies and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) come into play.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering two things; what are the differences between agencies and CMOs, and how can a digital marketing agency suite a company’s needs better than a single CMO?

In this post, I will walk you through the key differences between marketing agencies and CMOs and show you why marketing agencies are more cost-effective, knowledgeable, and flexible when it comes to meeting your company’s marketing needs.

Here are 5 reasons why contracting a digital marketing agency is a better financial and strategic choice than hiring a CMO.

What is a CMO?

Great question! A CMO, chief marketing officer, is a corporate director who manages all of the marketing responsibilities and activities within an organization. This individual is tasked with the objective to facilitate growth and drive profits through strategic marketing management.

Companies with 250 employees or more will hire CMOs to help manage all of their marketing needs. CMOs have a variation of tasks to oversee such as; setting marketing goals and objectives, determining KPIs for the marketing department, and designing, planning and executing effective marketing campaigns. With a large workload comes a large price tag. According to a study conducted by PayScale, the average CMO salary is above $174,000 per year.


what does a marketing agency do


You might be thinking… “this jack-of-all-trades is worth every penny, right? Especially if they can boost revenue.” Well, not exactly.

It’s like expecting your Roomba to clean your house, cook your food and wash your clothes. Sounds crazy, right? Why? It’s all considered housework. This example might seem unorthodox, but this is no different than expecting a CMO to handle all your marketing.

So, what is the solution?

It’s simple: companies need to hire a skilled team that is equipped with the tools and techniques to face the unknown, and a digital marketing agency fits this. Not only do companies need unique, unprecedented strategies, but they need them now – today.

Rather than hiring one jack-of-all-trades, companies are investing in an all-in-one marketing package: the all-mighty agency. Here are 5 reasons why CMOs take a backseat to digital marketing agencies.

1. Agencies Are Affordable and Flexible

You might be wondering, “Won’t an entire team of specialists from an agency cost more than a single CMO?” Not necessarily.

What if I told you that you can get more bang for your buck by hiring an agency? Let me explain…


what does a marketing agency do | Marketing Team
What’s better than getting an experienced team for the price of one employee?


Cost to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency

Of course, depending on the size and scale of the industry, the overall cost of hiring an agency can vary from business to business. However, more often than not, it is more affordable to hire a digital marketing agency rather than forming an in-house team led by a CMO.

On average, the monthly cost of a digital marketing agency ranges from $3,000 – $10,000.

Even on the high side, this is far less than the average cost of a CMO. Plus, with an agency on your side, you won’t have to worry about recruiting and interviewing new employees. As you can see, this can be very time and cost-effective for you and your company.

Another advantage of agencies is their pricing system. Many times, prices for their services tend to operate on a point system, which allows customers to use their allocated “points” on the projects of their choice. With this form of pricing, you can pick and choose which campaigns to focus on.

But I’m not stopping there! Are you ready for the best news?


what does a marketing agency do | Marketing Contracts


Agencies Offer Flexible Contracts

Many digital marketing agencies like ChatterBuzz Media offer flexible or no contracts! Say goodbye to long-term commitments and hello to freedom.

These types of agencies scale their work output up or down, depending on the needs of their client. This equates to lower risk and lower commitment for your business.

Especially when it comes to small and medium-sized companies, a CMO is never needed. An agency will work just as well, if not better, to fit all of your marketing demands – and for a great price with a flexible contract.


Why should I hire a marketing agency | Design Team

2. Agencies Have Broad Skill Sets and Specialized Teams

First and foremost, we can agree on one thing: successful marketing will develop a business into a more profitable model. It’s no secret that genius content marketing strategies boost brand awareness, and consequently conversions.

In order to increase ROI, marketers need to seamlessly execute campaigns that raise awareness of the company’s product, service, brand, mission, and goals. Many large-scale companies will employ a Chief Marketing Officer to fill this role. However, what if I told you that a digital marketing agency can provide you more services than a CMO?

What Agencies Provide that CMOs Do Not

That’s right! Most digital marketing agencies offer all of the following: creative, analytical, innovative inbound, and account-based marketing campaigns. So why is this important? Let’s break it down for you.

We’ve all heard about the two sides of the brain: the analytical side and the creative side. We’ve also been taught that most people favor one side and are either analytical thinkers or creative thinkers.

This is where things get interesting. Most people assume marketing and advertising are creative-dominant. However, this isn’t the case.


Why should I hire a marketing agency? Chatter Buzz


Great Marketing Requires Both Creativity and Analytics

Yes, communication and creativity help companies build a solid marketing foundation. But, did you know critical thinking, data analysis, and research are also extremely vital building blocks for any strong marketing strategy?

With this in mind, it’s obvious that marketing campaigns should be managed by both creative and analytical thinkers, not just one or the other. Since most CMOs tend to operate alone, they might not be able to see the whole picture when it comes to fortifying a strategy, especially during a period of economic, political, or technological change.

Meanwhile, agencies are equipped with specialized teams that have expertise in many different marketing fields, including:

  • SEO and Web Copy
  • Market Research and Analytics
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Global and Local Trends
  • Web development

And the list goes on! This leads us to our next point.

3. The CMO “Enterprise-Wide” Mindset May Fall Short

This is not to say CMOs are bad at what they do. However, the problem lies within the misconception that CMOs are supposed to have “enterprise-wide” mindsets. Many times, they get bogged down in tactical tasks.

According to Deloitte,

“In today’s customer-centric environment, it’s easy to simply view every task as customer-related and, therefore, the CMO’s responsibility. This carries the risk not only of overloading the CMO with tasks (minus the strategic empowerment) but of turning the CMO into ‘the jack of all trades and perhaps the master of none.’”

A closer look at this statement implies that the more responsibilities are thrown onto the CMO’s plate, the more watered down their work and impact may become. As for the digital marketing agency, account managers play a key role as the overseer for the company’s bottom line – sell the brand. The managers will then create an overarching marketing strategy for the business and then guide their team to execute:

  • Social media campaigns
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Market research
  • SEO keyword research
  • Web copy and design

Account managers and their team of web designers, copywriters, and other professionals work together to seek out both the needs of the company and their target audience.

But we’re not stopping there. Let’s not forget how much time goes into successful marketing campaigns, which leads us to our next point.


in house vs agency | statistical reporting
Marketing firms often have a greater access to tools and reporting that aren’t affordable for an in-house CMO or marketing team.


4. Agencies are Easy to Hire & Fast to Onboard

Did you know that most digital advertising agencies are fast and efficient when it comes to onboarding? But how? The answer lies within the very foundation of the agency itself: the team.

Since most digital marketing agencies revolve around an entire task force of specialized professionals, ideas flow freely throughout the agency and eventually form the perfect strategy for the client. Plus, if you want a task completed within a specific deadline, for instance, a brand new website design, the agency will be able to handle it.

And here’s the best part…

For this reason, many CMOs love digital marketing agencies as well!

CMOs Often Hire Agencies for Help

Yes, you heard us right. Many CMOs will hire a digital marketing agency to help them come up with competitive strategies and complete their overload of tasks. That’s right, even CMOs understand the value of an agency.

In fact, according to the 2018 In-House Creative Industry Report, 77% of in-house marketing teams partner with external agencies to meet the demands of their marketing strategy. The ability to meet any marketing need, even during an unprecedented time, is remarkable, to say the least.

We can almost hear you thinking, “Well that’s good, right? They can hire the agency and manage them on their own.”

Well, unless you prefer to pay a higher bill at the end of the day, this tactic is usually undesirable. When CMOs hire agencies for extra help, this will definitely rack up overall costs.



Agencies Hire CMOs As Well

That’s right, agencies often add a CMO to their staff as well. Sometimes, they will even hire multiple CMOs!

So, what does this mean for you?

In all cases, a full-time CMO is not necessary. In fact, when you hire an agency, you are also hiring a fractional CMO for less cost. This is clearly a better option because you get more heads for a better price.

Now, let me tell you one more reason why a digital marketing agency is a great choice for your company.


in house vs agency - both is better
Why should I hire a marketing agency? It improves your marketing and empowers your team.


5. Agencies Operate Large Events with Ease

When it comes to large-scale events, there has been a recent trend to go digital. In-person business functions have been transformed into digital webinars. Because of this, digital marketing agencies are extremely reliable partners to have during this transition. They produce results-driven data and can prove the success of their online campaigns.

With the world rapidly evolving into a digitally connected network, agencies have access to the advanced tools and exclusive networks your company will need to establish a strong online presence. Not to mention all of the experience they have with handling online events.

Last but not least, even if live events do take place, digital marketing practices like geofencing, social media marketing, and email blasts are still what lead to greater conversion rates in the end. So, how can you find a digital marketing agency that fits your needs?


Find the Perfect Digital Marketing Agency for Your Company

I must admit, not all digital marketing agencies are created equal. Some businesses may be hesitant to work with a digital marketing agency because of ambiguous price models and virtual communication problems. So, how can you find the perfect agency for your company?

The good news is you can overcome these barriers by seeking out an agency that has a number of positive reviews.

Your agency should also offer:

  • Transparent pricing models
  • Tangible proof of bottom-line improvements
  • Creative AND analytical solutions for your company


At ChatterBuzz Media, we pride ourselves on our results-driven data and we can prove the success of our campaigns. Our transparent pricing models and flexible contracts give you the power to decide when and where you want to use our services.

And the best part? ChatterBuzz is analytical, not just creative! We believe that no one solution fits all. We will work with you to create a digital marketing strategy that meets the needs of your company. Contact us to learn more.

Hailey Ingeman

Hailey Ingeman is an SEO copywriter at Chatter Buzz. She uses her strong creative writing skills and SEO expertise to draw in organic traffic. Hailey loves to write engaging copy that inspires leads to become paying customers.

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