When is it time to hire an interim CMO?

Common signs that an Interim CMO could benefit your business.

If you’re a small business owner, there are times when you need to bring in the best marketing professionals available—but only temporarily. When this is the case, an interim CMO can be the perfect solution. But how do you know if it’s time to bring in an interim CMO? Let’s take a look at some common signs that indicate your company can get a boost from one.

Are you experiencing lackluster sales, needing a business reset, struggling to find or backfill the right candidate for a marketing position or just looking to improve your marketing results? Consider hiring an interim CMO.


Here are three reasons that it is time to engage an interim CMO:

You can’t find the right marketing candidate (or your head of marketing just quit or was fired)

Marketing Reason #1

Sometimes, hiring a full-time head of marketing can be quite difficult. Between screening resumes and interviewing candidates, finding the right fit for the job can take months—months that your company may not have if you are in desperate need of a marketing leader. In this case, bringing in an interim CMO can give your team the guidance they need while giving you more time to conduct a thorough search for your next permanent hire.


You need better marketing results and ROI (someone must continuously monitor marketing effectiveness!)

Marketing Reason #2

If you feel like you’re not getting the results you want from your current marketing efforts, then it might be time to ponder hiring an interim CMO. An experienced marketing executive can quickly assess any shortcomings in your current approach and develop new strategies and tactics to drive better performance from existing marketing activities. They can also help identify additional opportunities to reach new customers or strengthen relationships with existing ones.


You’re experiencing poor growth and performance or launching a major business reset

Marketing Reason #3

If your organization is stagnating, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get initiatives going, then you may want to contemplate enlisting the help of an interim CMO. They bring fresh perspectives and ideas to your organization. Your interim CMO will quickly assess the current state of your business, identify the areas of opportunity, and create effective strategies and tactics that align with your goals. Moreover, they understand how marketing needs to work hand-in-hand with your other departments such as sales, operations, finance, and customer service in order to successfully align the teams to achieve results.


How do I find the right Interim CMO?

Identifying an interim Chief Marketing Officer for your small business does not have to be an arduous process. Start by asking in your network – reach out to colleagues, contacts, and key opinion leaders within the industry who might have connections or recommendations. After that, you can decide whether to go with a larger agency or a solo operator based on your preferences. What’s more important than size, however, is finding someone who fits into your company culture and shares similar business and marketing philosophies within your organization. Take time to get to know the potential candidates and their experience before making any decisions. Finally, ask yourself if you would you enjoy working with them on a daily basis.

Insightful tip

Bonus tip – it is wise to include a 30-day out clause in case the interim CMO does not work out as planned.



Small businesses can flourish from an interim CMO

Interim CMO for hire the 3 benefits - HPZ MarketingWhen it comes down to it, only you as the small business owner can decide whether or not hiring an interim CMO is right for your company. However, if any of these signs sound familiar—when experiencing poor growth or embarking on a major business resent, difficulty finding quality marketing candidates for the job (or your top marketer just quit) or need better marketing results—then bringing in an experienced professional on a temporary basis could be just what your company needs. An interim CMO has all sorts of potential benefits; why not explore them today?


Ready to take the next step and hire an Interim CMO?

Do good marketing that works.



Jessica Kelley

Founder and CEO

Jessica Kelley CEO | HPZ Marketing - Fractional CMO company

Jessica Kelley has more than two decades of experience in marketing and finance, with a focus on B2B and B2C channels. She has worked extensively within the healthcare, consumer, commercial, and software industries in diverse environments ranging in size from a $200 billion corporation to a startup firm.

Jessica is the founder of HPZ Marketing, an interim CMO and fractional CMO company and is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a Women’s Business Enterprise and Women Owned Small Business (WOSB). They provide interim and fractional executive marketing services to help businesses achieve marketing ROI with executable strategy and a relentless focus on customer acquisition and retention. Learn more about hiring a fractional CMO for your business.