What Is a Fractional CMO?

A Fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) is a marketing executive who divides time between multiple clients, working with each a “fraction” of the time and for a fraction of what a full-time CMO costs. This arrangement makes a Factional CMO the ideal solution to the marketing challenges of many SMBs.

With a Fractional CMO, your organization gets executive experience to provide an overall, unified marketing strategy, and to help with lead generation, customer acquisition, and company growth. Your Fractional CMO will provide insights, leadership, direction, instructions, guidance, honest feedback, and training as needed.

What The Fractional CMO Does

The Fractional CMO, who becomes a part-time executive addition to your management staff, is responsible for planning and overseeing the disciplined execution of all marketing efforts. This includes:

  • Creation of a marketing strategy aligned with the overall business strategy
  • Development of a marketing plan and budget covering all aspects of marketing activities and best marketing practices
  • Refining the company’s branding and messaging
  • Market definition, segmentation, and determination of the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
  • Formulation of marketing campaigns on various platforms and coordinating with Sales
  • Guiding and overseeing the creation of all marketing collateral
  • Management of Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) generation campaigns
  • Improvement of the customers’ experience
  • Assistance in product formulation and pricing
  • Establishment of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics
  • Monitoring, analyzing, and reporting on KPIs and Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Adjusting plans and execution as necessary, based on data-driven discussions and decisions
  • Offering direction, coordination, and management of the implementation of all marketing efforts carried out by all entities, including:
    • Your in-house resources (and/or help you hire your own team)
    • Any agency, service provider, or contractor you have already engaged
    • Fractional CMO & Marketing’s own professional ‘outsourced marketing department
    • Our extensive network of seasoned and trusted experts in all marketing disciplines you may elect to work with

How to Choose The Right Fractional CMO

By definition, a Fractional CMO is a member of your executive team who is in charge of creating your marketing strategy, leading your marketing efforts, and managing the teams and individuals who implement the company’s marketing plan.

When you embark on the search to identify the right Fractional CMO for your company, you must consider his or her compatibility with the rest of your leadership team. Your executive team, as well as the would-be Fractional CMO, should feel comfortable working with each other and have similar values, work ethics, and be on the same level of professionalism. You need a polished professional whom you will be proud of and who will represent your company the way you want it to appear.

Furthermore, the Fractional CMO must have considerable experience being an executive, as well as ample experience in the multitude of facets of marketing disciplines. Being a Fractional CMO is not a ‘learn on the job’ role, nor is it one that requires hand-holding. When you bring a Fractional CMO to support your company, you should expect that person to make your job easier and propel your company toward meeting its goals.

The Fractional CMO does not work alone and does not implement all tactics in isolation. It is very likely that the Fractional CMO will oversee, guide, direct, and manage individuals employed by the company, as well as agencies and other vendors contracted by you, to handle certain aspects of the marketing initiatives. Clearly, your Fractional CMO should be a leader with years of successful experience managing people and contractors, with the ability to elevate everyone’s performance. The Fractional CMO will interact intently with individuals and managers in other departments in your organization, most notably the Sales team and executives. It’s vital to make sure that person is up to these tasks.

Be alarmed of any Fractional CMO candidate who is fast to say that he or she can handle the challenges you have, and is willing to engage based on very little information and only an anecdotal understanding of your operation. A good Fractional CMO will ask a lot of questions, ask for numbers / metrics, and will look at what has been done marketing-wise thus far, before telling you both what can be done and if he or she can actually lead your marketing efforts.