Hiring a Marketing Agency vs A CMO: Digital Marketing Duels


marketing agency vs. cmo

Welcome to Digital Marketing Duels! In our first episode, we have two of our marketing experts debating the topic of hiring a Marketing Agency vs CMO. In favor of hiring a CMO is Eddie Hren. In the opposing corner, we have Jeremy Koenig in favor of hiring a marketing agency. The rules are simple: this is a debate. Each side will present its main argument, rebuttal, and conclusion. Let’s get started!

Get ready to duel!

Watch the first episode of our Digital Marketing Duels (Marketing Agency vs CMO) below:

Marketing Agency vs CMO

For many companies, having both a CMO and a marketing agency is the most effective approach. Having an internal CMO allows for greater control over the marketing strategy and ensures that any decisions are made in line with the company’s values and goals. With a marketing agency, businesses can benefit from their expertise, allowing them to be more strategic and creative in their campaigns. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to carefully weigh the costs and benefits before deciding which approach is right for your company.

But what exactly do Marketing Agency vs CMO offer? Which works better?

CMO is the Way to Go!

Eddie: In my 15 years of experience working closely with several CMOs, I firmly believe that every company should have a CMO running their marketing from start to finish. An in-house expert is solely focused on building your business and brand. The CMO is closer to the brand, and better understands the company’s brand voice and general tone.

Make it a Marketing Agency

Jeremy: I agree that every company should have a strong marketing leader. However, spending 150 to $200,000 on a CMO is not a good option for companies because CMOs don’t have many tactical or tangible skills. They know how to hire and manage people, and while that’s important for most companies, it’s not as important as results. Ultimately you’re paying the CMO a considerable amount to build an effective marketing team, while they do not provide a lot of actual value.

The Value of an Experienced Leader

Eddie: If you hire the right CMO, someone with over ten years of experience will have the right expertise to fill the role. It is straightforward to take an outsourced custom audience and upload it to Google Ad Manager. An experienced CMO should be able to do this; it’s easy. Moreover, an agency has anywhere from ten to a hundred clients and will not give your company the love and support of an actual company employee. Conversely, the CMO directly relates to the company’s CEO, so they know the brand a lot better.

They also have direct access to company leaders 24/7 for any urgent needs, so things get done right away—no middlemen communication lags. “The jobs got done, but the fragmented approach made it hard for marketing to drive a strategic direction,” says Christine Cutten, Marketing Practice Leader of Deloitte. With an agency, you never know if someone is taking the day off or what internal issues the agency is having and how that might affect your brand. Furthermore, with an internal leader, their job is on the line so they have a real incentive to drive results.

The Value of a Team

Jeremy: For the price of just hiring Marketing Agency vs CMO, a CMO you can get the same executive leadership and a team that will work within your Google Ad Manager, social ad manager, email marketing platform, CRM, and constantly massage your data. The smartest thing a CMO can do is hire an agency that fills the weaknesses within the company. “Marketers simply cannot be one-dimensional any more,” explains Neil St. Clair, Chief Growth Officer for Vestorly as featured in Forbes.

By having a large support team you get consistent efforts without having a single person trying to fix problems quarter by quarter. Marketing agencies have experience in the industry. The right marketing agency is more efficient at managing advertising dollars and driving returns on investment. They are familiar with all the new relevant technologies across platforms.

Final Words

Eddie: I mean, it’s easy. You could obviously have a combination of Marketing Agency vs CMO. I think we both present pretty good arguments. With Giant Partners, if you do hire a CMO, we will provide that CMO the most incredible up-to-date custom audience that can be used to generate amazing traffic, amazing leads for their company. If you go the other route, hiring an agency, that’s certainly going to work as well.

Jeremy: There are three reasons why I think every company in the country should partner with Giant Partners in some capacity.

One, we’ve got incredible data. We can pinpoint your precise customer, build a big audience and target them, help you target them across channels. That’s an absolute no-brainer.

Number two, there are elements of your current campaign that you’re not very strong in; we can help. It might be emailing, might be social media, might be Google, it might be something else. We can help.

Number three, the best value you’re going to get us to partner with us, for between $5,000 and $10,000 a month, you’re going to get everything that I’ve been discussing.

Who Won?

Compelling arguments on Marketing Agency vs CMO! Is your company currently using a CMO, a marketing agency, or a combination of both? What works better in your experience? Make sure to check out our YouTube channel and subscribe to get updated when we post a new video in the series!



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