What is a Fractional CMO

A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer (“CMO”) is an experienced marketing leader who acts as a CMO for a company but is brought on as a contractor or a consultant.

They are hired to establish or lead the marketing function in a part-time or short-term consultative role, taking on CMO responsibilities and providing the marketing leadership that a CMO would hold. 

Many companies may not require the services of a CMO full-time and instead need part-time help from someone with deep marketing knowledge and experience. This means that the company benefits from marketing expertise without committing to the long term or paying executive-level costs. 

What does a Fractional CMO do? 

A Fractional CMO can give professional direction for a go-to-market strategy, establish best marketing practices and maintain key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide marketing decisions for revenue and growth. 

They can usually do all the things that a CMO would do, such as: 

  • Providing leadership for the marketing team 
  • Working with freelancers or outside marketing agencies
  • Acquiring more leads 
  • Optimising digital advertising  
  • Creating marketing strategy 
  • Overseeing marketing tech integrations Increasing the email list and engagement 
  • Managing content marketing and thought leadership 
  • Building marketing reports 
  • Hiring and onboarding new team members.

How does it work? 

A company is likely to bring on a Fractional CMO when planning to invest in a new marketing function or need executive-level guidance and leadership for their marketing team. They may be interested in getting an independent outsider’s outlook on their marketing function business and customer engagement tactics. 

Fractional CMOs can be particularly helpful when a company is keen to explore new channels, does not have the time or money to look for a CMO or wants to take the time to find the right permanent hire.

Depending on the company’s needs, a Fractional CMO may work 10, 15, 20 hours a week or more. The contracts are usually for six months or longer to deepen mutual commitment. This gives enough time for marketing strategies and initiatives to launch and evolve, as it usually takes a minimum of at least six months to see results. 

What are the benefits of a Fractional CMO? 

A Fractional CMO takes much less time to search, train and onboard than a permanent hire. They also come with the speed, knowledge and experience of leading several marketing teams of similar size and have the tools required to deal with any issues that may arise.

They tend to be highly experienced and have gone through the ups and downs that come with a specific stage of growth for a company. This equips them to handle the variety of situations that might arise, get the results required, and provide singular overall direction for a company’s marketing function. 

They come at a reduced cost of a CMO hire, as they do not require typical employee costs like insurance, benefits, and signing bonuses.