What is a fractional CMO?
A fractional CMO is a skilled and experienced outsourced marketing executive who applies their expertise in messaging for
Advantages of a Fractional CMO
Tenures for CMOs are among the shortest for all executives at less than three years. One reason is the wide disparity in what organization’s expect from their CMOs. Some may want a strategist paying attention to go-to-marketing planning and target marketing. Others may want CMOs focused on close integration with sales including building brands and awareness, developing content and generating leads. Still others may want to emphasize product marketing and product management.
A search for a Chief Marketing Officer typically takes 4-5 months with another several weeks expected to get the new in-house CMO to full capacity. You may face a 1-2 quarter gap in finding your next CMO. TechCXO part-time and interim CMOs hit the ground running, usually with less than a two week learning curve.
Options for on-demand executives include defined project fees (e.g. assessments, project plans), hourly rates, day rates, or monthly retainer. A typical in-house CMO’s compensation, benefits and bonus will typically exceed $200k and include significant equity from a startup. There are no contracts, equity or loaded salaries with a fractional CMO who works faster and more efficiently than in-house resources.
CMO Capabilities & Experience
A fractional or interim CMO is a proven executive. The experience of an in-house CMO may be mixed, particularly their skills and experience in digital marketing. TechCXO On Demand CMOs are ready now to stabilize martech functions, identify issues, implement changes, and help with ramp up.
A fractional CMO can be contracted with but there is no long-term compensation or commitment to that party. You can dial up or dial back use based on budget, priorities, needs and capacity.
Access to Resources
A fractional CMO has access to specific resources, vendors and platforms that they can access readily or at discounted rates. This may include CRM platforms, advertising outlets or services such as Search Engine Marketing vendors, graphic artists, website designers and Search Engine Optimization experts.
Fractional CMO Roles and Responsibilities
The CMO must continuously refine the marketing strategy in response to shifting external and internal factors. A high-performing fractional CMO may take on any or all of the following tasks:
Go-to-Market Planning – A Go-To-Market Plan answers fundamental questions about why a business does what it does. It answers questions about what its products and services are, who benefits from their use and how they benefit. It is a guide for companies to stay on track.
Product / Market Fit – When trying to reach Product – Market Fit, the company needs first to determine the target customers and their underserved needs. After which, the business needs to find a way to define its value proposition, feature set, and lastly the user experience.
Target Marketing – Exploring specific data about the preferences of people who are predisposed to potentially buy your product can include where they live, age, gender, interests, education, relationship status, buying concerns and more.
Brand Building – Creating valuable connections with customers is the essence of building a brand. To accomplish this, companies need to have a clear idea about who they are, what they do, why they do it, who they do it for and how they make their customers’ lives more enjoyable, convenient, or valuable when they use their products.
Content & Digital Marketing – Drawing in customers may require a combination of paid, owned, and earned media. The mix of content, be it owned media that tells your story, bought media that finds buyers and draws them in, or earned media that generates interest and curiosity, the marketer has to build awareness and draw potential buyers.
Data, Product & Platforms – Understanding how prospects and customers are reacting to your offering is detailed and sensitive work. It includes formulating pricing strategies and offers. Working on detailed buyer/user personas, developing a product roadmap and interpreting data, including win/loss analyses.
What Fractional CMOs Cost
There are several models used to access interim and fractional CMOs as alternatives to hiring a full-time sales and marketing help. These include:
Advisory Services – A traditional engagement where a company enters into a consulting agreement for high-level strategy work.
Interim CMO (and CRO, CSO) – Where a company hires an acting executive while they look for a replacement
Part-Time or Fractional CMO – An executive contracts with the company and assists for a set number of hours per month or days per week. Might also serve as a coach, trainer or mentor.
Outsource – Support the full strategic and functional outsourcing of a department. Typically 50-75% less than full-time employees.
Customer Success to Revenue Growth
An area of increasing focus for heads of marketing is achieving growth through customer success and retention. Effective customer success improves the renewal rate, creates upsell opportunities and reduces churn / customer loss. Some of today’s most successful emerging and growing companies are already investing in customer success. In fact, growing companies are 21% more likely than their stagnant counterparts to prioritize customer success.