Marketing is an important growth driver for any business. Many companies recognise this and have been expanding their marketing teams and developing more in-house expertise over the years. With this, we have also seen the rise of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) position, providing marketing with a voice in the boardroom and in key strategic decision-making. Apart from leading the marketing team, CMO’s determine the brand direction and marketing strategy in alignment with the company’s overall growth objectives.
However, not all companies may be ready for a CMO on a full-time basis. Some companies may struggle to find the right talent or simply cannot justify the cost of hiring another full-time senior leadership position. In such cases, a fractional CMO may be the solution or provide at least an initial experience for them to evaluate prior to making a more significant hire and longer-term investment.
This article provides you with a better understanding of what is a fractional CMO and highlights some of the reasons why you may want to consider hiring one.
What is a Fractional CMO?
To put it simply, a fractional CMO performs the same general tasks as a full-time Chief Marketing Officer but in a part-time capacity. He or she is hired by a business to develop a marketing strategy, oversee the implementation and provide guidance and direction to the marketing teams. A fractional CMO works closely with the company’s leadership team as well as the marketing team to help achieve the company’s marketing goals.
A fractional CMO is effectively an outsourced solution available on the basis of a few hours or days per week. It allows companies to make optimal use of the vast experience and ability to lead and implement marketing programs. A fractional CMO typically also comes with experience from across multiple industries and marketing best practices that can easily be applied to your business as well.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO?
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider a fractional chief marketing officer:
Address an urgent need for expertise and/or leadership:
Fractional CMOs can come on board relatively quickly and add value immediately by providing input and direction based on their prior experience. They may also have very relevant experience within your industry and have dealt with similar challenges and objectives before.
New fresh ideas and strategies:
A chief marketing officer can provide you with a fresh outside view of your marketing efforts and help you formulate new marketing strategies that will grow your business even further. Given their broad understanding of multiple marketing areas, they can perform a quick marketing audit and provide new recommendations on how to improve your marketing program and organisational structure.
Lead a transformation or strategic initiative:
Are you embarking on a digital transformation, need to develop a new marketing plan, start a new initiative or implement a marketing technology solution? Your current marketing team may not have the expertise or bandwidth to lead such an important change. This is where a fractional CMO can play an important role.
They can dedicate a specific amount of time per week to lead a specific project and guide the teams within your company to achieve a successful outcome.
Highly talented CMOs are difficult to find and can be expensive. Not just in salary but also in paying bonuses and retention benefits. Furthermore, there’s a need for continued investment in training and development. With a fractional CMO, you can still have the main benefits of having a CMO but at a fraction of its cost.
Most CMOs also end up spending a large part of their time in meetings, navigating through company politics and dealing with people management issues. By hiring a fractional CMO, you can focus your investment on what really matters; obtaining the marketing expertise you need for your business.
How to Hire a Fractional CMO?
Now that you've understood the benefits of hiring a fractional CMO for your business, here are the steps you can take to hire one:
Clearly define your marketing needs and develop a scope of work. Agree on timeframes and how many hours/ days per week you expect will be needed. Determine whether you have a requirement for someone to be physically in the office or largely remote, or a hybrid arrangement.
Make a list of the broad qualifications and expertise you require. Any specific skillsets you are looking for? Any dealbreakers you may have?
Look for the right talent. You can use Google search, Linkedin or your network to find the talent you need. Interview them and select the one you are most comfortable with.