An Interim Marketing Manager Gets Their Hands Dirty

An interim manager or marketing director tends to implement change and get the job done, compared to some consultants who advise and facilitate and may not get their hands dirty.

Interim managers are employed on a short-term basis, typically over three to nine months, as part of the business’s management team to achieve specific objectives. They are usually less than half the cost of a consultant, and act as a flexible management resource, an extra pair of hands, to get the job done. They tend to be highly experienced and more than capable of doing the required work.

To quote Digby Jones, former Director General of the CBI:

“Interim executives bring a wealth of experience and business acumen that helps to set a company on the right course for its future.”

Christopher Lamotte from Real Marketing, a marketing consultancy near Edinburgh, says:

“Demand for interim managers is growing as companies realize what a practical, hands-on resource they can provide. There are many situations where an interim manager should be considered: where there is a shortage of management time; a lack of expertise; a new project; a sudden departure; an illness; or even for maternity cover. Interim managers are flexible and bring a wealth of valuable experience. They do not have political ambitions in the organization, and provide objective views focused on achieving specific goals.

“Taking on an interim marketer is lower risk than permanent recruitment. Interims can address immediate problems, buying time so that longer-term options can be considered more carefully.”

A BIE/MORI survey of ‘captains of industry’ found that about 40% had used interim managers at or near board level. This revealed that, when managing change and transition, interim executive management was preferred to management consultancy by more than 6:1, and often found to be both more suitable and more cost effective.

Over recent years interim management roles have often been in finance, IT or in managing director roles, but marketing assignments are rightly becoming increasingly popular. As marketing directors or marketing managers, interim marketers can meet a wide range of different marketing requirements. They can help develop and launch a new product, use PR to raise the organization’s profile, cover for short term leave, provide an extra resource for a rapidly growing business, act as a marketing director to satisfy the needs of investors, or build up a marketing function from scratch.

“During the recent downturn many businesses have slashed their marketing budgets, sometimes mistakenly cutting costs to improve short term profitability. Why is it that marketing still tops the list of expenditure most likely to be cut in challenging times when our most successful companies have planned marketing at the core of their business? Marketing should be seen as a long term investment, and hiring an interim marketer is a flexible way to get an organization’s marketing back up to speed without being too expensive.

“At Real Marketing we offer a free Website and Marketing Review for starters.”

The interim marketing option should certainly be considered by small or medium sized businesses which do not have a marketing specialist on board, particularly if they are not yet ready to commit to a permanent marketing resource. Interim marketing can be a useful solution for small businesses where key marketing activities are being ignored because no-one has the time or expertise. For smaller companies, an interim marketer can be employed on a part-time basis for one or more days a week.

“Too often businesses don’t make their limited marketing budgets work hard enough; marketing tends to be narrowly defined as promotion, with too much emphasis on advertising, PR, websites and brochures, often applied in an ad hoc, unplanned way. Marketing should be seen as a much broader customer-focused, strategic activity that starts with research, competitor analysis and a careful review of the business, and runs right through to selecting clear targets, projecting a defined, differentiated image, delivering the right products, setting prices and planning high impact, cost effective, integrated sales and communications.”

An experienced interim marketer can address a business’s marketing issues and leave behind robust marketing systems and tools, based on a sound marketing strategy.

Feel free to contact us and ask for a free Website and Marketing Review.

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