sales and marketing

We’ve always known that businesses put big money behind their marketing efforts—but spending is growing. And fast.

In just the U.S., companies increased their marketing spend to over $480 billion in 2022, with digital marketing responsible for a huge part of that growth.

Put simply: Companies are putting their money where their marketing is, and when done right, these costs turn into major wins. And to do marketing right, you need the right leadership.

But for emerging companies or smaller businesses, tight budgets mean a full-time CMO is often outside the realm of possibility. That’s why a fractional CMO might be exactly what’s needed.

In this blog, we’ll cover what a fractional CMO is, how a fractional CMO can help build and execute a winning marketing strategy, and real-world examples of success with fractional CMOs.

Who Are Fractional CMOs? 

To understand what a fractional CMO is and what they do, you first have to understand fractional marketing.

Fractional marketing involves outsourcing some marketing roles to a part-time partner. Not to be confused with a contractor, a consultant, or an outside agency, a fractional marketer still works alongside your team—much like a regular employee—but on an as-needed basis. 

Fractional CMOs work in the same way. They offer the C-suite experience you’d expect from a full-time CMO, including helping you get to know (and even interview) your target audience, building a targeted marketing strategy that addresses your unique growth goals, executing that plan with the rest of your team, balancing your marketing budget, setting quarterly and yearly goals, and much more.

The biggest difference is that fractional CMOs operate under the shared cost model, which means your company is only responsible for part of their costs. This means you can allocate your budget toward other business-growing marketing activities, such as paid advertisements, investments in AI and other technology, and so much more.

Now that you know who fractional CMOs are, let’s talk about how they can fuel your growth.

Related: The Real Value of Fractional CMOs: Who Are They?

Growth Starts With a Plan

“Growth” can mean all kinds of things. Higher revenue, more customers, more employees, and new products or services are just a few examples of ways companies define growth. Many are looking to hit multiple targets, but each one needs a dedicated plan and stakeholders responsible for each phase of the plan.

Your fractional CMO is your planner, helping you identify the steps you need to reach your growth goals.

Part of that plan likely involves making sure you know your customer—even if you think you already do. When was the last time you asked your target audience what they’re looking for when purchasing a product or service? Or what mind hold them up before making a purchase? Or what they think of your competition?

Your fractional CMO can help you engage with the right people and know exactly how they make their purchasing decisions by conducting buyer interviews. You can turn the insights from those interviews into action, helping you improve your messaging, create better products or services, generate more high-quality leads, and ultimately, fuel growth.

Plus, fractional CMOs often come from diverse backgrounds and are well-versed in the latest technology that could help you tap into your growth potential. For instance, if you’ve been interested in pursuing AI (and here’s why you should be), a fractional CMO can give you a real-world perspective on what works best, how to implement it, and how to maximize your investment.

But fractional CMOs don’t just work on the front end of your growth. They’re also responsible for tracking how things are moving along the way and making changes as needed. This means being meticulous about the data: tracking impressions, clicks, open rates, purchase rates, and many more numbers. 

But where you might see numbers, fractional CMOs see immediate action items. They can help you decipher that data, so you can pivot on a dime.

While those responsibilities seem huge to take on, fractional CMOs are well-equipped for the job. Let’s look at some examples. 

Related: Business Growth Strategies for 2024

Tales of Victory

As we mentioned earlier, growth isn’t just defined one way. Let’s look at how these three companies grew with the help of fractional CMOs.

The first story is for dog lovers. K9 Resorts is a luxury dog hotel that needed help breaking even as they opened over a hundred more locations. They also needed help supporting their new owners during grand openings. 

Fractional CMO Dave Blanchard helped them achieve these goals in only four months. Using Facebook ads, hiring two marketing team members, and automating lead follow-up using HubSpot, Dave was able to increase their first-year revenue by 50%.

Our second story looks at Oxford Bank, one of the oldest commercial banks in its region. They had several growth goals, including building brand awareness, improving communications, fueling customer and deposit growth, and elevating their reputation.

With fractional CMO Stacy Kamigaki, they hit each target. Stacy first conducted a 45-day marketing audit to get to know the bank’s audience and approach inside and out. She used those findings to tap into the bank’s potential, increase LinkedIn impressions by 336%, increase email click-through rates (CTR) by 45%, and much more.

Finally, we look at a dental practice specializing in dental implants that needed help understanding why their marketing efforts weren’t generating the leads—or the growth—they were looking for.

Fractional CMO Rich Taylor helped them quickly realize they were operating on “leaky bucket” marketing. Most of their leads were unusable for one reason or another, with only 2 patients coming out of every 200 leads. With Rich’s help, they were able to contact the right people, nurture those people and get them into the practice, increase their monthly revenue by 250%, and reduce marketing spend by 20%.

Related: 3 Small Businesses That Bloomed With The Help of Fractional CMOs

Let’s Grow Together 

If you’ve been sitting on untapped growth potential, a fractional CMO might just be the key you need to unlock it.

No matter how you define growth, there’s a fractional CMO out there who speaks your exact language. Click here to schedule a no-obligation, 30-minute call to get in contact with a fractional CMO and start carving out your growth journey one step at a time.


Need guidance knowing how to best use AI to enhance your marketing approach?

Check out The Role of AI in Marketing for practical advice and insights from real-world peers.
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