Building Your First B2B Marketing Team? 6 Questions You Need to Answer

NIM Fractional CMO led B2B Marketing team

When it’s time to invest in B2B marketing, what are your next steps? Should you hire a Fractional CMO, staff up in-house or outsource?

Have you grown your B2B firm to a certain level on CEO and sales-led initiatives alone? Is hiring more salespeople or making more calls no longer working to move the revenue needle? Have you reached a sales plateau that is hard to move past?

Then this might be a sign that it’s time to invest more seriously in your B2B marketing. 

Like many B2B CEOs, you’ve grown your company to $3+ million in revenue primarily on sales-led initiatives. This means you likely have a well-developed sales organization but haven’t focused as much attention on your marketing function, and don’t have a strong marketing strategy, system or foundation in place. 

Instead, you’ve probably hired marketing agencies here and there in the past for specific tasks. Tasks, like building your website, doing some SEO or writing some content. But to continue your revenue trajectory, hiring a marketing agency for one-off campaigns here and there may no longer be enough. 

It might be time to get serious about taking a more strategic and systematic approach to marketing. An approach that supports and complements your sales organization, helps you move past revenue plateaus and sets the stage for both short-term wins and long-term sustainable growth.

When you’ve reached the stage of growth where revenues are starting to plateau and you know it’s time to invest more seriously in marketing, what are your next steps? Should you hire in-house or outsource? What skill sets and roles do you need first? Which marketing model is right for your business stage?

The reality is that the world of B2B marketing is more complex than ever, and it’s tough to know exactly where to start when it comes to building out your marketing function.  

Should you hire in-house? If so, what position should you hire first – a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)? Product Marketing Manager? Do you need one person or a whole team? How long will hiring and onboarding someone take?

Should you engage with more marketing agencies to create specific campaigns? If so, which campaigns should you focus on? Do you need to have a well-thought-out marketing strategy first? Who is going to manage the marketing agencies?

Should you bring on a marketing consultant to create your marketing strategy and go from there? What happens once the marketing strategy is created? Who will set up your marketing foundation and execute your campaigns?

Or should you consider starting with a Fractional CMO and Marketing Team that specializes in B2B and can give you the leadership, strategy and tactics you need right away? How do fractional models work, anyway?

All of these are viable options, depending on your stage of growth, your current team, how fast you want to get started, and your business goals.  In order to know the right option for you, it’s important to ask yourself some key questions and make sure you have all the information you need in order to choose your ideal marketing model. 

Here are the six most important questions to ask before choosing your ideal B2B marketing model:

Question 1: How Do You Know It’s Time to Invest in B2B Marketing?

How do you know when it’s time to get more serious about marketing? What are the top signs that your current strategies are no longer working? Knowing the signs that your sales-led strategies and ad-hoc marketing alone are no longer working to move your revenue needle will help you to determine the type of marketing you need to invest in next to move past those revenue plateaus. This will also help you choose the right marketing model you need now to implement in order to make that happen.  

Question 2: What Are B2B Marketing Best Practices Today?

What does an ideal B2B marketing process look like, and what steps do you need to take first? Understanding B2B best practices at a high level will help you to first know the type of marketing you need to implement, and subsequently the skill sets and experience level of the people you will need to make this happen. You’ll be able to evaluate potential candidates or agencies based on their knowledge and implementation of these practices, ensuring that you choose a team or partner that aligns with industry standards and trends.

Question 3: How has B2B Marketing Become More Complex?

How has marketing become more complex, and what does this mean in terms of installing a best practices B2B marketing system in your business today? Similar to understanding B2B marketing best practices, it’s important to know how B2B marketing today has become more complex. Why? Because gone are the days of bringing on one marketing person who can do everything. Knowing the complexities of marketing today will help you to further determine the types of skill sets you need and evaluate in-house or outsourced partners.

Question 4: What are the Top Challenges in Getting Started in B2B Marketing?

What are the top marketing challenges for B2B CEOs at your stage of growth? How can you overcome these challenges and choose your best marketing direction? Because marketing today has become so complex and there are so many marketing models and options to choose from, many B2B CEOs make some common mistakes when they first decide to invest more seriously in marketing. By recognizing those common mistakes upfront, you’ll be able to avoid these missteps, saving you valuable time and money. 

Question 5: What Does an Expert B2B Marketing Team Look Like?

What positions make up the best practices B2B marketing team? What are the responsibilities of each position and which ones are needed first? Whether you ultimately decide to build your first marketing team in-house, outsource, or do a combination of the two, it’s important to first understand the roles and functions that make up an expert B2B marketing team, along with which positions and skill sets are important to bring on first. Once you know what an ideal team looks like and why the different roles are important, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate how you want to proceed with building out your marketing department.

Question 6: Should You Hire In-House or Outsource when Building Your B2B Marketing Team?

What are the marketing model options available for B2B companies at your stage? Is it better to hire in-house, outsource to marketing agencies, or hire a Fractional CMO and marketing team? Which is the right option for where your business is at right now?

Once you’re familiar with B2B marketing best practices, what a strong B2B marketing team looks like, along with the typical challenges and missteps to avoid, you should have a pretty good idea of what your ideal next steps are in terms of the type of marketing you need for your stage of growth, along with the roles or functions that are important to bring on first to make this a reality.  

So now it’s time to make your final decision – what is the right marketing model for you? Does hiring in-house, outsourcing to agencies, or engage a B2B marketing Fractional CMO with a ready-built expert marketing team? There are pluses and minuses for each, and in the end, it’s about the best fit for your business. 

 

Next Steps: The CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building an Effective  B2B Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World 

So now that you know the six most important questions to ask in order to choose the right marketing model for your business, it’s time to do some research and find the answers. To help you with your research, we’ve created a comprehensive 33-page eBook that goes through each of these six questions in more detail: The CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building an Expert B2B Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World

You can download the eBook RIGHT HERE

If you have any questions about this blog post or the eBook or would like to schedule a consultation with Jen Kelly, NIM’s Founder and one of the Fractional CMOs to get more guidance around your next steps in marketing, you can send her an email or book a consultation time.

 

Jen Kelly leads New Initiatives Marketing, Inc., a Fractional CMO & Expert B2B Marketing Team company. Since 2009, our team of senior marketing leaders and expert marketing specialists has been helping B2B CEOs with the strategic leadership and real-world marketing execution needed for practical, long-term results.

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