Business Insights

Business Insights

Getting the most from your part-time marketing director

As a business-owner, it makes little sense to spend time and money employing a full-time marketing manager when, for broadly the same sum, your business could benefit from an industry-leading marketing director. The benefits of working with a part-time marketing director are extensive. Through The Marketing Centre, growing businesses can bring tried-and-tested marketing experts in-house, in a flexible, cost-effective arrangement built around them. We’ve placed part-time marketing directors in hundreds of businesses across the UK, and the results speak for themselves.

Investing in a part-time marketing director is a smart choice, and once a business has chosen a Marketing Centre expert whose background and approach fits their culture, they’ll want to get started right away. To get maximum value from the new partnership, it’s essential to kick things off right. Openness, trust, and setting clear expectations are key. For business wanting to get the most from their director, our golden rules are as follows.

1. Change: prepare for it, accept it, embrace it

All of us are resistant to change on some level: we might have a favourite lunch spot, drink our coffee a certain way or allow for any number of routine quirks and oddities which help us feel comfortable. But in business, routine for the sake of routine – whether because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ or ‘change is too disruptive’ – is a surefire recipe for stagnation. Achieving growth is the reason for the part-time marketing director to work in any business. Yet without change, growth cannot happen. None of our marketing directors will propose change for its own sake. As part of their assessment of a business, they will identify key areas for improvement, however.Each of our directors is skilled at change management, but it is the responsibility of both parties to effectively communicate the value and benefits of change to teams before and during the working period.

2. Engage with the process

The value of an expert outsider’s perspective on a business is the most important reason for working with a part-time director. Businesses shouldn’t waste an incredible opportunity by leaving them alone to ‘do marketing’ in an office. Equally, a part-time marketing director is not a consultant who enters a business, prepares a snazzy report and then leaves. The ‘part-time’ label is relevant only as a technicality. To get the most out of the working relationship, business owners should consider the director an active member of their senior management team. The key takeaway here is openness: businesses should confide in us their strengths, weaknesses, ideas and concerns. In turn, we will share knowledge, contacts, and expertise gleaned from our entire team of 50+ marketing directors.

3. Be resourceful

Hiring a part-time marketing director is one of the wisest investments an expanding business can make, with huge transformative potential. Nevertheless, budgets and resources need to be considered and allocated thoughtfully. Our directors are simultaneously visionaries, innovators, and achievers. What they are not is magicians or miracle-workers. Powerful marketing requires investment; long-term plays married with quick-wins on solid strategic foundations. Even marketing channels which appear ‘free’ (read: social) require hours of strategic planning and support staff to create, schedule, and monitor content daily.

We don’t ask businesses to give us all their money and staff resources. Our directors have extensive experience managing budgets and expect to be held accountable for the performance, cost, and ROI of the strategies they implement.

One of the crucial differences between hiring a full-time (but less senior and less experienced) marketing manager, and hiring a marketing director on a part-time basis, is the way in which they manage resources. The businesses we work with must be willing to spend in ways we suggest, to achieve the commercial goals we set for them. The relationship between business owners and their part-time marketing directors is truly unique.

Businesses benefit from the fresh enthusiasm of an aspiring marketing manager, backed by strategic insight from years of experience at the highest levels of business. All for the same cost. But to get the best results from this partnership, businesses must remember: change is good, sharing is caring, and a wise investment is never wasted.

Excited by the prospect of what a part-time marketing director could do for your business? Get in touch today.

Written by Brian Hardie

Brian Hardie is Regional Director for The Marketing Centre and specialises in working with small and mid-size businesses. He has over 30 years’ experience working with clients in logistics, media, technology and outsourcing.

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