Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

What do you think about having a chief marketing officer (CMO) in an advisory firm?

We have been spending a great deal of time and money upgrading our website, creating a newsletter and writing blogs. None of us is good at this. It is taking hours and hours of our time. One of my senior advisors has floated the idea of a CMO. I didn’t know what this was, but we researched it and seems like it could be someone to oversee those activities and provide strategy for what we need to do next.

Times are a bit tougher and our revenues are down. I don’t want to pay a hefty sum for something that has “chief” in the title. Is it a necessary role? Could we outsource these functions for the time being? Could a marketing assistant or someone right out of school with a marketing degree help us?

I want to leverage the work we’ve been doing but I don’t see paying a huge salary with benefits when we are not doing marketing work on a large scale all of the time.

G.Y.

Dear G.Y.,

This is an ongoing dilemma for many advisory firms. You want to do consistent marketing (and you should) but it typically isn’t anyone’s strength or particular area of focus. It gets assigned to an advisor or support person. But then the reality of the time involved and the fact that you have to keep it going starts to dawn! But hiring a full-time senior person is often much more costly than is necessary.