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What is a Fractional CMO?

Updated: Mar 8

A Fractional CMO is a part-time Chief Marketing Officer, acting as an executive consultant. A Fractional CMO typically has more than one client at a time, so each client gets a 'fraction' of the CMO's time.

What's the benefit? Businesses get CMO-level expertise for lower cost than hiring a full-time CMO.

Let's say conservatively that a full-time CMO costs $300k as an employee (some make over $1m with bonuses and benefits). When a company's annual revenue is only at the $3-5M mark, they'd really struggle to hire a CMO and still have any marketing budget left over.

Traditionally, the solution for a small business is to hire marketing specialists to handle the day-to-day tasks, but the strategy and direction is still left to the CEO. Wearing all the hats wears thin eventually. At some point, they'll want to relinquish that part of the business to an experienced pro...someone who can get to know the business, see the potential, and build paths toward success with marketing strategies, roadmaps, oversight, and leadership.

That's where a Fractional CMO comes in (or Fractional Sales Director, or Fractional COO...all those roles exist). Now the business owner can smartly hire expertise part-time as a 1099 contractor. They spend less than hiring a full-time employee and still get the high-level planning and structure needed to scale up their business. It's a perfect step-change to the next phase in the business: when revenue is high enough to bring in a full-time CMO.

How do I work as a Fractional CMO?

As every marketer likes to answer any question, mine is the same: it depends. Every business need is different, so I have a tiered approach that goes from a simple half-day session with a marketing plan as the deliverable, all the way up to being a part-time CMO contracted for several months.

Do I want to eventually be your CMO? No. That's not my game plan. But I'll gladly get you set up for success now, and when you're ready to hire a FT CMO, I'll help you find and onboard the right person.

If that sounds like something you'd like to investigate, I'll be happy to have a quick chat.

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