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Marketing Strategy

What is a fractional CMO?

Alicia Williams
Updated on May 01, 2022

Having a chief marketing officer (CMO) makes your business feel all kinds of official, but with great responsibility and great impact comes a great big price tag. When you need the expertise that comes with a lofty title and lengthy resume but don’t want to commit to a full-time hire, you may need the talents of a fractional CMO.

What is a fractional CMO?

A fractional CMO is a type of marketing executive that’s dedicated to specific marketing and growth-related tasks, including customer acquisition and overall sales development.

The difference between a fractional CMO and a typical Chief Marketing Officer is that a fractional position is not a permanent, in-house one. Instead, you’re outsourcing an executive job to an expert who serves all the functions of a CMO but without the long-term commitment. They also can bring an outsider’s perspective to your business which results in a strong holistic strategy.

What do fractional CMOs do?

A fractional Chief Marketing Officer tackles all the key marketing tasks, either personally handling each element or overseeing whoever those tasks have been delegated to.

A fractional CMO might:

  • Create a new marketing budget or make the existing one more effective/efficient
  • Develop both short- and long-term marketing goals and an accompanying marketing strategy
  • Help shape and execute brand positioning and audience segmentation
  • Build a marketing infrastructure
  • Determine product pricing and go-to-market strategy
  • Contract and enact sales automation software
  • Onboard and train new talent
  • Work on customer retention, including starting up loyalty programs and related promotions
  • Choose and set up tracking for key business metrics

Why outsource marketing strategy?

There are a ton of reasons to outsource marketing strategy. 

  • You’re way too busy to heap that onto your already overflowing plate.
  • You’re overseeing staffing, talking to investors, planning a merger — whatever’s on your calendar, you don’t need to add micromanaging your marketing team to that list. 

A fractional CMO takes over those duties, freeing you up to concentrate on the things that only you can do. No split focus means no sacrificing efficiency or efficacy. That’s a major win-win.

Going with a fractional CMO instead of a full-time, in-house Chief Marketing Officer means you get all the benefits of a c-level executive without being locked into a contract. 

  • You need someone to set up your marketing division and automate as much as possible before stepping back and letting your people do the rest. 
  • You just need help temporarily with a product launch or while you enter a new space in the market. 

Fractional CMOs address both needs and so much more by joining the team to fill a gap and providing an ecosystem of talent to produce high quality and impactful results.  We have yet to find one person that can do every aspect of marketing- that unicorn doesn’t exist, a Fractional CMO brings all of the top players together to win the game!

Fractional CMOs are also valuable when you need a fresh pair of eyes. It’s not uncommon to be relatively happy with where your company is but still feel like there are things you could do better. 

Why settle for being good when you could be great? Bring in a fractional CMO who can review your current marketing structure, your KPIs, your social media strategy, and more, and see how your business expands once you take their advice.

Understand how a strategy can change your business here