Innovative Marketing Strategies Benefit Startups & SMEs

Innovative Marketing Strategies Benefit Startups & SMEs

Innovative Marketing Strategies Benefit Startups & SMEs

Today’s competitive landscape requires startups and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to think beyond traditional marketing tactics. Innovative marketing strategies are the key to breaking through the noise and reaching audiences in fresh, impactful ways. Let’s explore how.

Establishing the basics: What are 5 common marketing strategies?

Before we discuss innovation, let’s visit the essential components for providing a solid foundation for startups and SMEs to build on.

  • SEO is a must-have today since optimized website content ranks higher in search engine results for relevant keywords.
  • Accessible, informative content attracts and educates your target audience.
  • Engaging with your audiences on various social media platforms cultivates a community around your brand.
  • Targeted email campaigns nurture leads and help build strong relationships.
  • Public relations (PR) helps generate positive media coverage to grow brand awareness.

What is a marketing innovation strategy?

Innovative marketing strategies ditch the “been there, done that” approach to embrace new ideas. Those strategies include using digital channels, like social media, search engines, email, and mobile apps, to reach and engage customers — and a whole lot more.

Influencer marketing with a cause

Influencer marketing involves collaborating with influential individuals or micro-influencers who have a dedicated following in the target market and leverage their credibility and reach to promote products and services. Partner with micro-influencers aligned with your brand values. Develop a campaign where a portion of the proceeds from sales generated through their promotion goes toward a social cause they care about. This strategy creates a win-win for the influencer, your brand, and the chosen cause, leading to increased brand awareness and positive associations.

Interactive content marketing

Look beyond static blog posts and infographics. Develop interactive quizzes, polls, or augmented reality (AR) experiences that allow your audience to engage with your brand in a fun, memorable way. These techniques capture attention and generate valuable user data you can use to understand customer needs and preferences on a deeper level to personalize your marketing efforts further.

Personalization and customization

Personalization and customization are not just buzzwords; they’re essential components of a cutting-edge marketing strategy. By diving deep into customer data, innovative marketers can craft messages and offers that speak directly to individual preferences, setting their brands apart in a crowded field. Customization elevates this concept by allowing customers to co-create their experiences, transforming standard transactions into memorable interactions. These strategies don’t just drive engagement; they provide critical insights, enabling brands to continuously refine their approach in an ever-evolving market landscape.

Community-driven content creation

Host challenges or contests that encourage your target audience to create content related to your brand. Think user-generated videos showcasing your product in action, recipe ideas using your ingredients, or even design contests for a new product line. This approach leverages your audience’s creativity, generates free content, and builds brand loyalty by spotlighting your customers.

Chatbots and AI

Chatbots and AI are revolutionizing the way brands interact with their customers. These technologies allow for seamless, 24/7 communication, addressing inquiries and solving problems in real-time, without the need for constant human oversight. The intelligence gleaned from these interactions is invaluable, helping brands refine their marketing strategies and personalize their offerings. These are not just tools for efficiency; they’re catalysts for a deeper, data-driven understanding of the customer journey.

Strong storytelling

Storytelling is a cornerstone of effective (and innovative) marketing strategies because it taps into the fundamentals of how humans connect and make decisions. Stories evoke emotions like joy, sadness, humor, and inspiration. You foster a deeper connection with your audience by weaving a narrative around your brand rather than simply listing features and benefits. People are more likely to remember stories than dry facts and statistics. Stories empower you to showcase your brand values and mission in action, make your brand relatable, and add a human touch.

Other approaches transforming how companies approach marketing — because they allow for more targeted, engaging, and personalized campaigns that resonate with modern consumers — include experimenting with creative content formats that move beyond text-heavy content. Think interactive videos, bite-sized infographics, and user-generated content.

How do you implement innovative marketing strategies?

The rise of the fractional CMO

Startups and SMEs need agility and strategic marketing to survive. Innovative marketing strategies are great, but implementing them requires expertise and resources. Not all companies can justify — or afford — a full-time chief marketing officer (CMO).

Enter the fractional CMO. They bring the expertise and perspective needed to propel growth without the hefty price tag of a full-time executive. It’s a cost-effective way to access senior marketing leadership — a critical asset for navigating today’s complex market — by giving startups and SMEs access to senior-level marketing leadership on a part-time or project basis.

Companies struggling to gain traction can find a powerful ally in a fractional CMO. Their fresh perspectives and innovative marketing strategies breathe new life into stagnant campaigns and can help companies reach their goals. Some companies may have temporary marketing needs, like a project or campaign launch. A fractional CMO can step in and provide the required expertise and leadership without the commitment of a full-time hire.

A fractional CMO can be a game-changer for businesses facing growth hurdles (or CEO burnout). It’s a strategic move that boosts marketing, improves overall business health, and supports CEO well-being.

If you’re ready to explore the range of innovative marketing strategies to elevate your company to the next level, download our fCMO overview.

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’s growth goals?

We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.

About &Marketing:

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

EOS Marketing Solutions: Filling the Void with Expertise

EOS Marketing Solutions: Filling the Void with Expertise

EOS Marketing Solutions: Filling the Void with Expertise

Entrepreneurs, business owners, and members of the C-suite are consistently overburdened with everything from big-picture complexities to a massive list of daily operational executions and everything in between. Many executives are simply putting out fires all day and struggling to get any traction, which all too often leads to burnout.

This is where Gino Wickman’s Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) framework comes into play, providing a structured approach to organizational management. Wickman describes this strategic structure as a system for managing human energy or a way to get all of your people rowing in the same direction toward a common goal.

What is the EOS model strategy?

The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is a set of concepts and tools designed to help businesses improve and grow. EOS is designed to be simple and practical, aiming to provide a complete toolkit for business leaders to align and synchronize all the pieces of their business, to produce the results they want. This approach is popular among small to medium-sized businesses and focuses on six key components.

  1. Vision: Ensuring everyone in the organization is on the same page and moving in the same direction. This involves defining the company’s purpose, core values, and 10-year target, along with a marketing strategy and a 3-year picture of what success looks like.
  2. People: Having the right people in the right seats. This means defining what the right people are (those who fit the company’s culture) and the right seats (having clear roles and responsibilities).
  3. Data: Relying on objective data to manage the business. This involves setting and tracking key metrics to gauge the company’s health and eliminate reliance on subjective measures.
  4. Issues: Becoming skilled at identifying, discussing, and solving problems. This means setting up a regular meeting pulse to address issues before they become major problems.
  5. Process: Systemizing the business by identifying and documenting the core processes that define the way to run the business. This helps ensure consistency and scalability.
  6. Traction: Achieving vision through execution. This includes regular reviews of the company’s progress against its goals and the implementation of EOS tools to maintain discipline and accountability.

What is EOS digital marketing?

In addition to identifying the above elements, the EOS model outlines four key focus areas for marketing optimization. When you get clear on these, they become the foundation on which your entire marketing strategy should stand.

1. Target Market:

Incorporating the EOS model’s approach to defining your target market can revolutionize your digital marketing strategies. It involves a deep dive into market research, identifying the demographics, psychographics, and behavioral traits of your ideal customers. This level of understanding is crucial in marketing for crafting messages that resonate deeply with your audience. By pinpointing the exact needs, preferences, and pain points of your audience, your digital marketing campaigns become more than just promotions; they become solutions to your customers’ specific problems, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

2. “Three Uniques”:

The EOS concept of ‘Three Uniques’ is pivotal in setting your digital marketing apart. It’s about finding and articulating what makes your brand uniquely suited to serve your customers – be it your cutting-edge technology, personalized customer service, or innovative product features. In the digital space, where competition is fierce, these Three Uniques can form the cornerstone of your brand’s online identity, helping you stand out in a crowded marketplace. Highlighting these in your digital content, social media, and online advertising ensures that your message is not just seen but remembered and valued.

3. Proven Process:

The ‘Proven Process’ component of EOS marketing is particularly relevant in the context of digital marketing. Today’s consumers seek brands they can trust. By showcasing a clear, structured process for service delivery on your digital platforms, you build credibility and reliability. Whether it’s through detailed product descriptions, customer testimonials, or behind-the-scenes glimpses into your operations, highlighting your Proven Process in your digital marketing builds a narrative of trust and consistency, crucial for customer retention and acquisition in the digital age.

4. Guarantee:

In digital marketing, the ‘Guarantee’ aspect of EOS is a powerful tool for overcoming the inherent skepticism of online consumers. By offering robust guarantees – be it money-back, satisfaction, or performance – you address one of the biggest hurdles in online purchasing: perceived risk. Showcasing your guarantees prominently in your digital marketing materials, whether on your website, in email campaigns, or in social media ads, can significantly boost consumer confidence, leading to higher conversion rates and enhanced customer loyalty.

How to Leverage a Fractional CMO for EOS Execution

EOS lays a robust foundation, but it’s in the nuances of marketing strategy and execution where additional expertise often becomes essential. Wickman emphasizes the critical balance between two roles in any thriving organization: the visionary and the integrator. Visionaries are the big-picture thinkers, the dreamers who envision what’s possible. If a business only has visionaries in charge, there is at best a lack of solid processes, and at worst – chaos.

This is precisely where the role of a marketing agency, especially a fractional Chief Marketing Officer (fCMO), becomes a game-changer. An fCMO steps in as the integrator (or the support for an integrator), translating grand visions into actionable, effective marketing strategies. They bring a depth of expertise in executing marketing initiatives across diverse channels, from digital landscapes to content creation and traditional advertising avenues. This partnership enables businesses to concentrate on their primary strengths while the fCMO ensures that the marketing machinery operates seamlessly and productively.

Outsourcing marketing strategy and execution to a fractional CMO isn’t just about filling a role; it’s about empowering your business. It allows you to maintain focus on core operations, knowing your marketing efforts are not just being managed, but optimized and executed with precision. A fractional CMO acts as the bridge between visionary ideas and their successful implementation, ensuring that your business’s marketing strategy aligns with and supports your overall vision.

For businesses thriving under the EOS framework yet finding gaps in their marketing strategy and execution, a fractional CMO can be the missing piece. They bring not only the integration of visionary ideas into tangible strategies but also ensure these strategies are executed efficiently and effectively. Embracing this partnership can usher in unprecedented growth and success, turning visionary ideas into market realities.

Download our brief guide to learn about how an fCMO can be a growth catalyst for your business without the high cost of a full-time executive.

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’s growth goals?

We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.

About &Marketing:

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

Why Your Business Might Need a Digital Transformation

Why Your Business Might Need a Digital Transformation

Why Your Business Might Need a Digital Transformation

Countless small and mid-sized companies are using outdated or uncoordinated digital marketing strategies that result in wasted time and money. If you’re still not on social media, have not segmented the audiences on your email list, or are throwing proverbial spaghetti in the general direction of digital platforms—you might be due for a digital transformation. From getting a sense of what a digitally transformed business can look like to understanding exactly which transformative elements will work for you, the bottom line is this: digital transformation will help you make every effort (and dollar) count. Understanding how to embark on a digital transformation for your business has the power to massively uplevel the kind of goals you’re able to reach.

What is “digital transformation”?

Digital transformation is when an established business makes the switch from either traditional marketing or uncoordinated digital marketing to strategic implementation of online or digital methods to meet the needs of an evolving market.

The key word here is “strategic”. The transition to digital requires more than just moving existing methods online. It’s about a thoughtful approach, one that a seasoned marketing leader, like a fractional CMO, often subtly navigates. Digital transformation is increasingly necessary in our technological marketplace because if you aren’t evolving, you’re falling behind (hello AI!). Implementing a digital transformation of some kind in your business has the power to increase productivity while reducing labor costs, improve customer experience, drive innovation, and keep you ahead of your competition.

What are the 4 Ps of digital transformation?

  1. Platform: The foundation of impactful digital transformation lies in modern digital platforms. Cloud technologies, for instance, provide the necessary agility and scalability. The right leadership subtly ensures the integration of existing systems into these new platforms, enabling businesses to maximize their digital ecosystems. This includes selecting tools for collaborative work and efficient CRM systems, an area where a strategic marketing perspective can be invaluable.
  2. People: At the core of digital transformation are the people who drive it. Cultivating a culture of digital innovation and establishing effective processes are critical, and often benefit from the guiding hand of experienced leadership. Ensuring the right talent in strategic roles, perhaps guided by a marketing leader’s insights, is crucial for effective change management.
  3. Project: Digital transformation projects aim to deliver improved customer experiences through relevant and engaging offerings. Involving customers early on and using digital project management tools are key. Here, input from a marketing leadership perspective can be instrumental in aligning these projects with customer needs and market trends.
  4. Process: Revising operational processes is a vital step in digital transformation. Streamlining these processes for efficiency often requires a blend of technological understanding and customer-focused strategy, areas where a fractional CMO’s expertise can make a significant impact.

What are the most common types of digital transformation?

Digital transformation encompasses a wide range of initiatives, but most can be categorized into several common types. These transformations are typically aimed at improving efficiency, customer experience, and competitiveness in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Business Process Transformation: This involves reimagining and streamlining business processes to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve service delivery. It often includes automating manual processes, adopting new technologies like AI and machine learning for data processing, and implementing digital workflows. Here, fCMOs often start with website optimization and SEO as part of digitizing marketing processes. You want to ensure every page of the company’s website serves a distinct purpose and contributes towards the overarching goal. This holistic approach, combined with a targeted SEO strategy, can significantly enhance online visibility and customer engagement.
  • Domain Transformation: This type extends a business’s reach into new digital sectors or domains. Companies might venture into entirely new digital markets or integrate digital technologies into traditional offerings to create new opportunities. As companies enter new digital markets, multi-channel marketing becomes crucial.
  • Cultural/Organizational Transformation: This transformation focuses on changing the company culture and organizational structure to be more agile, data-driven, and customer-centric. It often requires a shift in mindset at all levels of the organization, encouraging innovation, collaboration, and a willingness to adapt to change. fCMOs contribute to cultural shifts by advocating for and implementing modern, multi-channel marketing strategies. This helps in fostering a culture that appreciates the nuances of diverse digital platforms, driving a more innovative and adaptable marketing approach within the organization.
  • IT Transformation: This involves modernizing the IT infrastructure and capabilities to support digital business needs. It can include moving to cloud computing, adopting new software development practices like DevOps, and enhancing data security and compliance capabilities. In modernizing IT infrastructure, the role of the fCMO often includes ensuring that the marketing technology stack is optimized and integrated with the overall digital infrastructure, particularly in areas like website functionality and multi-channel marketing tools.
  • Data Transformation: Focusing on the way a company collects, stores, manages, and utilizes data. This often involves big data technologies, data analytics, and implementing systems for real-time data processing and analysis to drive decision-making.

Each type of digital transformation has its unique challenges and opportunities, and many companies will engage in multiple types of transformation simultaneously or sequentially as part of their digital strategy.

Determining where to start for your business

Digital transformation is a strategic imperative that extends beyond marketing, encompassing every aspect of business operations. It requires thoughtful leadership that understands the importance of integrating modern technologies, fostering a culture of innovation, and focusing on customer-centric processes. As businesses navigate this journey, the role of strategic leadership, including guidance from experienced marketing professionals, becomes indispensable in steering these initiatives towards success.

Which area of digital transformation to start with depends on an array of factors like company size, marketing goals, current campaign development, and staff capacity. The only one-size-fits-all suggestion we have is to work with a feasible end goal in mind, set a date, and start small. Our fractional CMOs are literal pros at digital transformation for companies and strategies of all sizes. Reach out today and get matched with the perfect fractional CMO to guide your business to game-changing digital transformation.

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’s growth goals?

We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.

About &Marketing:

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

Revolutionizing Marketing Leadership Podcast: Insights to Fractional Executive Roles

Revolutionizing Marketing Leadership Podcast: Insights to Fractional Executive Roles

Revolutionizing Marketing Leadership Podcast: Insights to Fractional Executive Roles

Recently, I had the opportunity and privilege of being featured on the IMpluse podcast with industry expert Prateek Panda as part of a series discussing fractional executive roles and strategic marketing leadership within medium to large-sized startups and established companies. When you have time during your commute or while you walk the dog, give the full episode a listen. Below is a bit of a highlight reel of what I shared.

Why Fractional CMO?

I started &Marketing almost 8 years ago to serve middle market companies with an outsourced marketing department. As that has grown and evolved, a common thread I noticed was a huge need for marketing strategy and leadership. After looking around I realized that there was a gap in the market on both the offer side to the prospect/client and for the Fractional themselves. So we created a better one.

We started to focus on fractional CMOs in late 2022, and it has made all the difference in our business as well as the businesses we partner with.

What Makes a Successful Marketing Leader?

Here’s a snapshot of those key ingredients for success, the kind that’s making waves in the industry:

  • Crafting the Big Picture with a Dash of Agility: It’s not just about laying down those long-term plans; it’s about being nimble enough to dance with the ever-changing tunes of the market. A top-tier marketing leader blends foresight and flexibility seamlessly.
  • Being a Customer Whisperer: Getting into the customer’s headspace, understanding their beats and rhythms – that’s the heart of it all. It’s about creating strategies that resonate on a personal level with your audience.
  • Making Decisions Fueled by Data: It’s like being a detective, where every clue (data point) leads you closer to solving the case (nailing your strategy). Making calls based on what the numbers are telling you – that’s the name of the game.
  • Acting the Part of a Maestro: Leading a marketing team is like conducting an orchestra. It’s about getting all the different instruments (team members) to play in harmony so it resonates across the entire company.
  • Having Digital Savvy with a Conscience: Today’s marketing maestro has to be fluent in the language of digital but also stay true to the ethical core. It’s about using tools not just for their flashiness but for their ability to genuinely connect and engage.

In essence, it’s about being that visionary who can look through the lens of the customer, crunch the numbers, lead with heart and purpose, and constantly innovate while staying true to ethical marketing roots.

Challenges and Rewards of Being a Fractional CMO

Being a good marketing leader is the baseline, but most fractionals don’t realize how hard it is to actually create a business for themselves from scratch. You’re now selling and delivering a service where YOU are the product. That’s hard for many marketing people in particular because it’s a different skill.

Outside of the challenges though, there are always rewards in this unique role. When a fractional CMO partnership is done right, you’ll feel like a part of a strong executive leadership team. Fractional CMOs are brought on because their expertise is desperately needed at that time, meaning they get to be the hero of the story in many ways—that’s fulfilling.

Benefits of Joining &Marketing as a fCMO

Our fCMOs enjoy a multitude of benefits by partnering with &Marketing. Some of the most impactful ones are:

  • Inbound qualified (and vetted) leads
  • Community of like-minded experts
  • Tools & tips, coaching, advice
  • Assistance in negotiating deals
  • Offload all paperwork and invoicing to our staff
  • Transparency and as little drama as possible

How &Marketing is Different from Similar Agencies

  1. We are not captive – meaning we don’t sign any agreements that prevent you from getting leads from other sources or take a cut from leads we don’t bring in.
  2. We qualify leads before our community sees them. You know they are looking for a fractional before you talk to them.
  3. We help you negotiate the deal. Having someone in your corner makes a significant difference.

One of my proudest professional accomplishments so far is seeing this Fractional trend and pivoting our resources toward making it successful. It will be interesting to see where it goes!

The team at &Marketing is at the forefront of bringing the highest quality of AI tools to our partners as well. Being able to leverage AI to take marketing to the next level is the next frontier in our field, and we are doing that every day with our partners and clients.

I encourage you to make some time to listen to the podcast episode to get a full picture of what’s going on in the field of factional executives right now. Plus, I tell a great story about my biggest professional failure and share which influencer I would choose to have lunch with. (My answer might surprise you!)

For any questions or to get more details about fractional CMOs, please reach out!

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’s growth goals?

We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.

About &Marketing:

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

The Power of Digital Marketing Analytics: When, How, and Why to Use

The Power of Digital Marketing Analytics: When, How, and Why to Use

The Power of Digital Marketing Analytics: When, How, and Why to Use

When companies start to see a plateau or stagnation in growth it’s usually due to one of two things: 1) the refusal to implement new ideas or 2) guessing at which new ideas to implement. We’ve helped dozens of businesses through both hurdles. The key to pushing through that growth plateau is to use the power of digital marketing analytics to guide your growth. Understanding how to leverage data analytics to drive marketing decisions and strategies can lead to considerable growth in companies of any size.

What is digital marketing analytics?

Digital marketing analytics refers to the practice of measuring, managing, and analyzing marketing performance data to maximize its effectiveness and optimize return on investment (ROI). In other words, it’s crucial to helping businesses understand the impact of their marketing efforts and make informed decisions to drive growth and customer engagement.

A few key components of digital marketing analytics include:

  • Data Collection: Gathering data from various digital marketing channels such as websites, social media, email campaigns, digital advertisements, and more.
  • Data Analysis: Analyzing the collected data to understand user behavior, campaign performance, and the effectiveness of different marketing strategies. This often involves the use of analytics tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and others.
  • Performance Measurement: Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) like click-through rates, conversion rates, cost per acquisition, engagement metrics, and others to evaluate the success of marketing campaigns.

How is analytics used in marketing? Choosing the right data.

Data analytics can be intimidating at first, especially if you don’t quite know what you’re looking for or where to start. The good news is that there are hundreds of ways to gather marketing data analytics for your business. (Unfortunately, that’s also the bad news.) It’s critical to know which analytics are valuable to consider for your business and target audience and which ones won’t move the needle for growth. Getting caught up in trying to collect all the data and then getting lost in mountains of numbers that you’re uncertain of how to even use is an easy trap to fall into.

Some common types of data analytics used in marketing are:

  • website analytics
  • social media platform metrics
  • CRM/Sales data
  • Email service platform metrics
  • geographic stats
  • audience demographics

Data such as how many website hits and bounces you’re getting, the number of email opens and clicks, and social media followers are pretty simple to follow. Where too many businesses go wrong is thinking that’s all they need to consider. Additionally, a common misstep is mistaking vanity numbers for strategic data.

In other words, the number of followers on your social media or the number of subscribers to your email newsletter doesn’t necessarily convert to actual revenue.

Our fractional CMOs leverage their expertise in marketing and data analytics to make sure the right metrics are being tracked so that all the data being gathered can be impactful in making decisions about where to focus your time, energy, and money to combat that stagnant growth you may be experiencing.

Connecting digital marketing analytics to strategic decisions

When the best data is gathered and analyzed, you can connect those marketing analytics to strategic decisions. Instead of attempting to collect all the data, or guessing at which data you should pay attention to, our fractional CMOs get to the heart of which metrics matter so you can do things like:

  • Enhance cross-functional marketing strategies so that your multiple touch points actually move your potential customers along a journey instead of simply bombarding them
  • Identify cost savings within digital campaigns to maximize each dollar spent on paid ads
  • Identify target audiences to ensure that you’re only reaching out to your actual potential customers and clients
  • Equip sales teams with warmer leads to shorten the sales timeline and increase revenue faster
  • Provide intel for potential expansion areas and insights needed to create a strategic roadmap for growth

Leveraging the power of data analytics for growth

When you identify the right data analytics to track and know what meaning to attach to that data, you can confidently create a strategy that will lead to overall growth. There are a multitude of options available to assist you in gathering the data you need. Several platforms you’re currently using may already give you marketing data analytics, but we also have some impactful software in our toolbox like:

  • Power BI: a unified platform for data visualization and sharing
  • Stata: an integrated software that provides data manipulation, visualization, statistics and automated reporting
  • Semrush: a SaaS platform specializing in keyword research, competitor analysis, and ad campaign optimization

Our fractional CMOs use these and other data-driven tools to give you the kind of power boost that takes companies from a plateau to exponential growth to become industry leaders.

Getting Started

When you know what your numbers are and what they mean, you can take actual confident action toward growth. No more guessing at the next steps or sifting through tons of information to try to figure out which data to focus on. Data analytics in marketing doesn’t have to be cumbersome or time-consuming. Contact us to find out how a fractional CMO can help guide your business growth using the right data in the right way at the right time.

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’s growth goals?

We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.

About &Marketing:

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

Commercial Due Diligence Services for Private Equity Investments

Commercial Due Diligence Services for Private Equity Investments

Commercial Due Diligence Services for Private Equity Investments

&Marketing, and marketing, outsourced marketing strategy

Written By


Private equity acquisition is a complex undertaking with countless moving parts. Your company’s funds, time, and reputation are all on the line, and as new products emerge and marketing capabilities expand thanks to advancing digital intelligence, it’s more important than ever that you know the commitment you’re making.

Commercial due diligence offers invaluable clarity into your acquisition, from helping you determine whether or not it’s worth the investment to understanding how to maximize its opportunities for long-term growth. Today, more and more private equity firms are choosing to outsource these services — and they’re quickly seeing all the benefits that it provides.

What is Commercial Due Diligence?

A commercial due diligence is a critical deep dive into a businesses’ current position and future potential. Typically led by an executive marketing consultant (or a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer), this internal review involves assessing everything from a company’s ability to attract and retain customers, its market positioning and digital presence versus its competitors, how it defines its brand positioning and value proposition, and a number of other key elements that allow a business to identify opportunities to accelerate growth and value creation. 

Here’s what you can expect from an effective commercial due diligence: 

  1. A deeper understanding of your acquisition’s market dynamics, competition, and customers/consumers
  2. A robust roadmap for growth and a holistic marketing plan  
  3. Practical strategy execution with detailed analysis of the results and expected ROI


Outsourced commercial due diligence services typically involve a fractional CMO supported by digital specialists brought in through an agreement customized to the needs of the company. Their scope is specifically process-driven to help frame your portfolio company’s scale up, while ensuring you have the proper guardrails and strategic oversight to meet your long-term growth needs.


Why Do Commercial Due Diligence?

In the case of private equity firms, a commercial due diligence can offer invaluable clarity into the long-term potential of their investment through the support of highly experienced subject matter experts with practical advice and support to execute, ensuring the most meaningful results and greatest ROI.

This process will focus on fully understanding the target acquisition’s opportunities to determine whether there is potential for significant growth to create shareholder value. In many cases, commercial due diligence consultancy is usually employed after the private equity firm has conducted enough initial due diligence that it is willing to invest the time and resources to gain more transparency and confidence into whether it is a good investment opportunity in the long-run. And it can either be done pre or post-acquisition.

How Much Does Commercial Due Diligence Cost?

In order to best understand the costs associated with a commercial due diligence, it’s important to know your options — and what you’re getting. For example, &Marketing offers a flexible engagement through a retainer or “on-demand” model with various activities scoped on an ad-hoc basis. These retainers are typically for an initial project that is defined based on the specific target company’s needs (strategy, research, digital ads, SEO, email marketing, social media, etc). They can also be done as a “percentage of full time” on a weekly basis and paid monthly with a typical 3-6-month minimum engagement.

Here is a breakdown of a commercial due diligence framework/checklist and the associated costs

Market Position Analysis

  • Determine the company’s target markets or audiences based on its sales, margin, and customer retention history  
  • Review and map the company’s positioning verses its competition for selected dynamics, such as value, uniqueness, market share & growth potential
  • Determine whether the product and service positioning is “True, Distinct & Compelling” 
  • Map out the company’s Core Competences to determine whether it has sustainable competitive advantage
  • Costs range from $10,000 to $20,000.

Customer Insights Collection

  • Interview the company’s current and previous customers to guage how compelling and unique its products and services are from the perspective of their target audiences
  • Interviews with customers to reveal what’s effective & what’s not:

    a. Why they purchased
    b. The products/services’ strengths & weaknesses
    c. Level of customer satisfaction & the likelihood they’ll continue to purchase or use products/services
    d. The reason past customers chose to leave

  • Determine retention rates among customers over the last 12 to 18 months. (Note: many start-ups may have lower retention rates as they home in on higher potential target groups. For quick turnover consumer products, the metric here is repeat rate, which should be at least 50%)

  • Typically, 25-40 qualitative phone interviews are performed for a cost of approximately $15,000 to $20,000, or online surveys can be utilized with costs ranging from $5,000 to $10,000

Digital Marketing Strategy Positioning

  • Evaluate the company’s website for content, positioning and messaging, ease of use and technical functionality, and suitability for future value creation
  • Initiate discussions with key sales and marketing leaders to understand the existing lead generation pipeline and processes for managing leads generated to identify opportunities for future revenue growth
  • Conduct in-depth analysis to determine the company’s and its competitor’s digital strategy, approach, and effectiveness, quantifying its digital presence and identify high ROI approaches to accelerate revenue growth
  • Costs range from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on complexity

Marketing Capabilities Review

  • Evaluate the company’s marketing materials, both printed and digital
  • Conduct interviews with marketing teams regarding strategy and success to date
  • Work with the management team to outline the strengths and weaknesses found
  • Recommend cost effective improvements and internal organizational changes
  • Costs ranges from $5,000 to $10,000.

Is Commercial Due Diligence Stressful?

Performing a commercial due diligence can be time consuming and resource intensive if you try to tackle it internally without the right resources, bandwidth, or expertise to do it properly. This is why more and more private equity firms are relying on outsourced fractional CMOs and marketing teams to handle the commercial due diligence of their portfolio companies on their behalf. 

While some commercial due diligence experts will leave the execution of your marketing strategy to your portfolio company or a third party, there are full service digital agencies that provide the executive leadership and marketing team to see the entire process through from pre-acquisition advisory to practical execution. This approach not only leaves you with a single point of responsibility throughout the process, but also decreases the risks of issues and unapproved changes to ensure the overall effectiveness of the investment. 

To learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your portfolio company’s commercial due diligence consulting to ensure you’re harnessing the best solutions for long-term success, contact the digital marketing experts at &Marketing today. 



About the Author

As the Founder & CEO of &Marketing (, Raj and his team strive to provide growing businesses unparalleled marketing strategy and execution services. Raj has more than two decades of experience in B2B and B2C marketing, sales, & strategy. He has led nearly 100 high-profile marketing strategy projects for Global 100, mid-sized clients, and SMBs, plus over a decade with General Electric and General Mills. He is a sought-after advisor and facilitator, with experience across five continents. He is known for bringing the best of ‘big company’ marketing and strategy to smaller companies without the baggage, his bias for practical implementation, and his unrelenting customer focus.

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