The Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

Fractional Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are becoming increasingly popular as businesses strive for aggressive growth without having to hire full-time staff. Learn more about the benefits & challenges of hiring one.

The Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

As businesses strive to achieve aggressive growth, they often face the challenge of lacking strategic internal marketing leadership to drive it forward. Fractional CMOs are a solution for CEOs who need an experienced executive partner to develop a strategy and operational plan for growth without having to hire them full time. With a fractional CMO, companies can start developing their marketing function instantly, and at a fraction of the cost. The rise of fractional CMO has gained momentum in recent years as forward-thinking companies that want to achieve sustainable, long-term growth can use a fractional CMO to guide them in their marketing transformation.

Companies continue to have access to a senior marketing leader, and the fractional CMO provides a first-class strategy and drives daily execution. Ensuring a successful outcome with a fractional CMO starts from day one of hiring. CEOs want fast results and time is not on their side. Here are three tips for a successful start:

  • Find an experienced fractional CMO with knowledge in marketing, including digital marketing, advertising, social media, and SEO.
  • Choose one who has experience and knowledge in helping companies of a similar size or offering to their own.
  • Look for one who is process-based and has a history of providing successful outcomes.
The biggest difference between a fractional CMO and a marketing agency is that an agency's consultants don't dedicate the same type of work to their clients.

The most significant difference between a fractional marketing director and a full-time CMO is the total cost. Several organizations can benefit from hiring a fractional CMO agency, but there are certain criteria to evaluate if you need one. By involving a fractional CMO from the start of the acquisition, you eliminate the opportunity cost of waiting to hire a full-time marketing executive and an in-house department of full-time marketing professionals. Instead of disparate marketing agencies, contractors and freelancers, you have a fractional CMO who leads a single team, which will help you beat the competition through online and offline channels and get a significantly higher return on your marketing budget. Fractional CMOs offer their support in the short and medium term, so companies don't have to incur the cost of finding and training an in-house CMO, including the additional price of health insurance, benefits and bonuses per signature. The most important part of hiring a successful fractional CMO is finding one who has experience and knowledge in marketing. All of these challenges lead companies to have frequent CMO vacancies, to choose to eliminate the position or not even create it in the first place.

But no marketing leadership is certainly not the answer in an era where marketing+ technology has become infinitely more complex and, at the same time, offers tremendous opportunities for growth and ROI. Another common challenge faced by a fractional CMO is how to develop an engaging customer experience. Companies that hire a fractional CMO will continue to get a better marketing strategy and great talent to execute marketing campaigns and improve their brand image.

Mike Volkin
Mike Volkin

Fractional CMO, author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur