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Fractional CMO – Do You Need One?

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A fractional CMO is one of those things that most businesses wouldn’t even think about. They might not even know what one is. A company might believe it cannot afford a chief marketing officer.

It is hard for a small business to afford a dedicated marketing person. Moreover, this is where a fractional CMO steps in and shines. It is a middle ground where you can’t afford a full-time person but can jump more deeply into the marketing pool.

What is a Fractional CMO?

A fractional CMO is a part-time Chief Marketing Officer. The person is responsible for marketing strategy and managing the marketing department. They typically work with businesses that need a CMO but not in a full-time capacity. Furthermore, they can also be hired as a contractor or consultant and may work with several different companies simultaneously.

Ideally, they are a seasoned professional that would typically be well out of the budget of a small business. It lets you bring on a heavy-hitter marketing professional for a lightweight cost.

In addition, they are typically hired for specific projects or campaigns or to fill in for an absent in-house marketing leader. An excellent interim measure when the budget won’t cover a full-time CMO.

Moreover, a strong FCMO can bring the budget up to the point where a full-time CMO can be hired in-house. By leveraging their services, companies can achieve their marketing goals and improve their bottom line without breaking the bank.

What are the Benefits of a Fractional CMO?

They are Cost-Effective

Many companies today opt to work with fractional CMOs to save on hiring, training, and retaining a full-time CMO. This is a cost-efficient option for businesses with limited budgets or changing marketing needs.

Companies can pay a fractional marketing professional on a part-time or project basis. It can be temporary, or it can be a permanent ongoing relationship. One main advantage is that it can be structured to the business’s needs.

In addition to saving money, working with a fractional CMO can bring new ideas and outside expertise to a company. This fresh perspective can lead to tremendous marketing success and help keep costs under control.

Fractional CMOs are a practical and effective solution. Businesses can compete with larger organizations with a full-time CMO by leveraging their services.

The going salary for a CMO in California, according to Indeed.com, is About $150k base, and according to Salary.com, it’s quite a bit higher at about $380k average. So hiring a full-time CMO is an investment. Using a fractional CMO and a growth marketing agency (such as us, blatant plug) makes monetary sense for a smaller business.

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They are Flexible

The flexibility of working with a fractional CMO is a key advantage for businesses with different marketing demands. They can hire a fractional CMO for specific projects or campaigns, ramping up or scaling down marketing efforts as business conditions change.

This avoids the costs and responsibilities of a full-time hire and provides additional resources when needed. They can work as much or as little as the business needs.

A fractional CMO brings a fresh perspective and outside expertise to a company. They are not immersed in company culture and can often see outside the box. Sometimes, this alone is worth the price of admission for a fractional CMO.

They Can be More Seasoned and Have Greater Experience.

Fractional CMOs are often seasoned marketing professionals with experience across multiple industries and business types. They can bring their client’s knowledge, expertise, and insights from their other experiences. They can understand the latest trends, technologies, and strategies.

By working with multiple companies, they bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to each client, leading to a more innovative and effective marketing strategy.

This outside perspective of a fractional CMO can challenge the status quo and help companies see their marketing efforts from a new angle. This leads to improved strategies for reaching their target audience and driving growth.

They Can Help Expand the Company as Needed.

A fractional CMO brings their clients a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and insights.

In addition to supporting scaling marketing efforts, a fractional CMO can help companies save time and money. Instead of hiring a full-time CMO, a company can benefit from the expertise of hiring a fractional CMO on a project or retainer basis.

This way, they can avoid long-term commitment and expense. Companies can focus on other business areas while benefiting from a seasoned professional’s strategic guidance and marketing support.

A fractional CMO can ultimately be a valuable partner for companies looking to achieve their marketing goals. This also includes those who are just starting or experiencing rapid growth.

By providing the expertise and flexibility needed to navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape, a fractional CMO can help companies stay competitive and achieve long-term success.

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They Have a Range of Specialized Expertise

A fractional CMO offers access to specialized marketing expertise, which may not be available in-house. A fractional CMO can also help support an in-house CMO and mentor them with more expertise.

They can bring various marketing skills to their clients, including digital marketing, branding, and product launches.

This proves invaluable, especially for companies launching new products, entering new markets, or aiming to improve their marketing efforts in specific areas. Working with a fractional CMO can help companies stay ahead of the competition.

An FCMO can act as a bridge to other marketing professionals and resources, like agencies and technology providers. They can offer greater access to specialized marketing knowledge.

Hiring a fractional CMO can help companies obtain the marketing expertise required for success, even if such resources are not readily available in-house.

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What Can a Fractional CMO Do?

Marketing Strategy Development and Implementation

The fractional CMO is essential in developing and implementing effective marketing strategies. This can be conducting market research and analyzing data to understand the company’s target audience and competition.

Based on this information, they can develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes tactics for increasing brand awareness, reaching the target audience, and driving revenue. The FCMO can lead the plan’s implementation, working closely with the company’s marketing team and officers.

They will help execute marketing campaigns, manage budgets, analyze results, and adjust the strategy. They guide and support the marketing team, ensuring everyone is aligned and working effectively to achieve marketing goals.

This can result in more effective marketing efforts, improved brand awareness, and increased revenue at a fraction of the cost.

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Market Research and Analysis

Market research and analysis are critical aspects of a fractional CMO’s role in developing and executing effective marketing strategies. An FCMO will work with the company to gain a deep understanding of its target audience, its competition, and its market trends.

This can involve conducting surveys, focus groups, and other forms of market research. The fractional CMO will analyze data to identify trends, opportunities, and areas for improvement.

This information can be used to develop a marketing strategy. It can include tactics for reaching the target audience, increasing brand awareness, and driving revenue.

The fractional CMO will also use market research and analysis to track the effectiveness of marketing efforts over time. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is what will help you achieve your goals.

Market research and analysis are vital aspects of a fractional CMO’s role. It helps ensure that data and strategy are grounded in reality and align with the company’s goals and objectives.

Branding and Messaging

The marketing strategy can include tactics for reaching a target audience, increasing brand awareness, and driving revenue.

Smaller companies often overlook the branding of a company. A fractional CMO can help implement a proper branding procedure that will guide the company to increased growth and vision.

A brand is critical for a company’s growth. It is how you get everybody on the same page and show the correct face to the world.

It is what separates professionals from amateurs.

Is the message “We are the best at what we do” the message you want to show? Or do you like to offer the message “We’re not that organized”? How people perceive you is the most important message you can send.

branding coffee cookies

Digital Marketing and Lead Generation

Digital marketing and lead generation are important aspects of a fractional CMO’s role in driving the growth of your business. The FCMO will develop and execute a digital marketing strategy for various channels. The goal is to generate high-quality leads that the company can convert into customers and engage with the customer base.

The fractional CMO will use data and analytics to continually evaluate the performance of digital marketing efforts and adjust the strategy. This includes testing and optimizing different channels, messaging, and calls to action. This ensures the company is reaching the right audience with the right message and getting results.

By effectively executing a digital marketing strategy, the fractional CMO can help the company generate leads, build brand awareness, and drive revenue growth.

Product Launch and Go-to-Market Planning

Product launch and go-to-market planning are also part of a fractional CMO’s role. They can help bring new products to market. They will work with the company to develop a comprehensive go-to-market plan for launching new products.

A go-to-market (GTM) plan is a strategy that outlines how a company will introduce and promote the business to its target customers. It involves identifying the target audience, positioning the product in the market, and creating a marketing strategy to help the company achieve its business goals.

Typically, the GTM plan details the product or service offered. The plan specifies the target audience, outlines the marketing strategy, and identifies the channels the team will use to reach the target audience. It may include pricing, distribution, sales, and customer support information.

The fractional CMO will work closely with other internal teams, such as product development and sales. They ensure effective coordination of every element to align all aspects of the product launch towards the same goals.

Developing a product launch timeline, coordinating product demos/launches, and creating marketing collateral and messaging to support the launch may be part of this effort.

By executing a go-to-market plan effectively, the fractional CMO can help the company launch new products with maximum impact. Generate buzz and reach target audiences effectively, ultimately driving product adoption and revenue growth.

Sales Enablement and Channel Marketing

A fractional CMO is a professional who can help a company grow revenue by developing and executing sales enablement and channel marketing programs.

Sales enablement empowers sales teams with the resources, tools, and training they need to sell a company’s products or services effectively.

It includes everything from sales training and content management systems to CRM software and marketing materials. This aims to help salespeople better understand their customers’ needs, customize their sales pitches, and ultimately close more deals.

Channel marketing is a strategy that involves promoting and selling products or services. Channels such as distributors, resellers, and retailers, rather than selling directly to end customers. The goal of channel marketing is to expand a company’s reach.

Moreover, the FCMO may create joint marketing and sales plans to provide channel partners with the resources and support they need to sell the product effectively.

By executing these programs effectively, a fractional CMO can help a company improve its sales team’s effectiveness and reach customers through multiple channels. This can ultimately drive revenue growth and increase the company’s success.

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Marketing Budgeting and Forecasting

Marketing budgeting and forecasting are the most significant parts of an FCMO’s role. They work with the company to create a comprehensive budget, identify marketing goals, determine costs, and allocate resources accordingly.

Moreover, the fractional CMO also uses market research, industry trends, and data to develop marketing forecasts. They can anticipate changes in customer behavior and predict trends that may impact marketing efforts.

Furthermore, a fractional CMO can help a company succeed by skillfully managing marketing budgeting and forecasting. Effective budgeting and forecasting are essential to get the most out of the money you spend and receive the highest ROI.

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The Need for Fractional CMO

A fractional CMO can bring expertise, experience, and skills to your marketing efforts. By working with you to develop a customized plan, they can help you reach your specific marketing goals.

Moreover, are you trying to enhance your market research and analysis? Or perhaps refine your branding and messaging? Maybe you’re looking to boost your digital marketing and lead generation. Or plan your product launch and go-to-market strategy?

Alternatively, you could seek to optimize your sales enablement and channel marketing. Whatever your goals, a fractional CMO can provide the necessary expertise and guidance to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Finally, if you want to learn more about TD Marketing Solutions’ fractional CMO servicescontact us to see how we can help your company succeed in today’s competitive market.

(Oh, and the answer to the question in the page’s title? Do you need one? Well, yes, yes, you do!)

SHANE MCINTYRE

SHANE MCINTYRE

Founder & Executive with a Background in Marketing and Technology | Director of Growth Marketing.