Long story short – after years of being a developer switched to managing our own product team and finally turned to marketing (and sales) almost full time. Since then, I've been teaching myself and dealing with pretty much every area of online marketing – from strategy to content to email to paid to social to search – with mixed results. However, I feel like I still lack the big picture, the underlying structure of it all – so even when I'm doing great in one particular area (say, SEO) I'm never sure I should be in this specific area right now at all, especially when good results in one area don't move the business needle at all. The lack of work experience as a marketer really doesn't help here. Can you teach all of this yourself being your own marketing team? Do you find a mentor or hire a marketing person and learn while working with them? Do you just take a break from your business and go work in marketing as an intern? There are tons of great guides on every marketing aspect, but what's the best way to get the big picture right? I imagine that's something a new CMO goes through when joining a new company.
There are so many answers to that question, but the critical thing is that you have to be tuned in to your organization's strategic goals. You have to know what the organization wants to accomplish -- and why --- before you can offer guidance on the best way to get there and how to measure your success.
As an example...your marketing initiatives would be different if your organization's main goal is to increase your share in an existing market vs. expand your offerings in an existing market vs. enter a brand new market.
At the risk of seeming overly promotional, I think you might find some of your answers in my content marketing blog. My focus is on cutting through "best practice" hype and focusing on what actually matters to the business. It's www.patttipodnar.com/blog/, and feel free to contact me with questions.