What Is a Fractional CMO?
A Fractional CMO—or Chief Marketing Officer—is an outsourced professional who works directly with a small-to-medium-sized business on a part-time (fractional) basis. This executive fills the role of a traditional marketing officer, on a consultancy basis. This independent contractor performs a job that would otherwise be held by a full-time employee on the company payroll.
What Does a Fractional CMO Do?
A Fractional CMO is more than “just” a part-time consultant. This expert becomes part of the leadership team, offering marketing strategy and coaching about a company’s marketing campaigns and marketing plan.
Depending on the level of expertise needed and the retainer arrangement, other CMO responsibilities may include activities directly related to the company’s marketing, such as: budgeting, team supervision and team management, strategic planning, and brand management.
Unlike other outsourced relationships, this professional has skin in the game—accountability for the marketing campaigns that are developed and executed on their watch.
Watch our video and get the scoop on Fractional CMOs
Which Companies Need a Fractional CMO?
Very often, companies that need or engage a Fractional CMO are startups that are not ready for a full-time marketing director or a C-level professional on staff.
It may also be an SMB or non-profit organization that is going through a transition, has lost its chief marketing officer but is not yet ready to hire anew, or needs the high-level marketing know-how but cannot afford to pay an agency or a full-time chief marketing officer.
What Is a Fractional CMO+?
The “plus” in Fractional CMO+ indicates added value beyond marketing strategy expertise and consulting.
In this “plus” role, the CMO brings in their own team to implement marketing tactics and campaigns as a traditional marketing agency would do.
Why Hire a Fractional CMO or CMO+?
Not every company requires a full-time, 40-hour-a-week marketing executive on their team. And many SMBs cannot afford to add that big C-suite salary to their payroll.
A key benefit of hiring a Fractional CMO or CMO+ is that the business owner doesn’t have to pay big bucks for positive marketing outcomes. Rather, the SMB gets more “bang for the buck” because the part-time CMO+ is strategizing, directing, planning, and implementing marketing campaigns—without the hefty salary all those chiefs expect.
In short, a Fractional CMO offers a host of benefits:
- Expertise. Fractional CMOs often come with a wealth of marketing experience and knowledge that they can apply to your business.
- Cost-Effectiveness. You get the benefits of a full-time CMO without the cost of a full-time salary, benefits, and other associated costs.
- Flexibility. Fractional CMOs work on a part-time or contract basis, allowing businesses to adjust the level of service as needed.
- Strategic Focus. These part-time CMOs offer higher-level strategic thinking to help businesses develop and execute marketing plans to drive growth and profitability.
How Can Businesses Work with a Fractional CMO?
The business owner or leadership team should determine the company’s marketing needs first.
1 – Assess the time commitment your team requires and define the scope of work. Try to determine the length of time you will need this part-time professional. Also consider how many hours per week or month you’d need them. Remember that this consultant, as a freelance or outsourced professional, has other clients to service.
2 – Specify the services you believe your SMB needs, such as:
- Leading the marketing team
- Setting marketing goals
- Creating a marketing strategy
- Writing a marketing plan
- Hiring or supervising a marketing employee or team
- Developing and overseeing the marketing budget
3 – Evaluate your operating budget and determine what you can afford for this outsourced person. If you’ve been using a full-service marketing agency, compare your monthly retainer fee and the services you’re receiving with the cost of a Fractional CMO and what this person delivers. You’ll find the Fractional CMO or CMO+ typically charges much less than the traditional marketing agency.
Why not just hire a marketing agency?
If you are just looking to execute on marketing initiatives, then you may choose to go with a marketing agency. Agencies are typically not accountable for results––they just deliver work, and they need to be given direction. A Fractional CMO is likely a better choice for you if you need a trusted advisor and leader who can guide your company’s marketing efforts and provide direction to staff or contractors.
Fractional CMO+ in NJ
Advantage Marketing is a marketing consulting firm based in northern NJ. Managing Director Loraine Kasprzak has acted as Fractional CMO+ in New Jersey for many of her clients over the years, providing expert marketing strategy and guidance through campaign implementation.
To assess how your business can benefit from the services of a Fractional CMO+, contact us for an initial consultation.