The Covid-19 pandemic caused a disruption to the work ecosystem as we knew it, but that – as it turns out – isn’t an entirely negative thing. The pandemic gave us a gift: a unique opportunity to explore different ways of working.  

As people reset the boundaries of work-life balance, lines that had gotten blurred in the years before the pandemic, we’ve added words like “quiet quitting”, The Great Resignation, and WFH  to our collective vocabulary. Side hustles become the norm, and the gig economy is booming. Even well-established, big-name companies have begun to realize the potential of remote work and diverse, distributed teams. 

Now companies who wish to stay relevant in these transitioning times are taking change even further – into the C-suite. By tapping into the concept of fractional C-suite appointments, these companies benefit from experienced expertise – but without the expense of a full-time role.  

The fractional CMO model is one popular iteration of these emerging new roles, gaining traction with growth-minded CEOs. But is a Fractional CMO the right fit for your business? The answer depends on a number of factors.  

In this comprehensive evaluation guide, we’ll take a close look at the role of a fractional CMO, what they can offer your business, and how to find the right fit for your business.  

If right now, you’re asking…“But what is a Fractional CMO?” 

A fractional CMO is a hybrid role that combines the responsibilities of the CMO and the head of sales. Typically, they’re responsible for managing the entire marketing function of a company, aligning sales with marketing to ensure growth for a company.    

Most notably, the Fractional CMO is a hybrid role, rather than a full-time one. CEOs often prefer this because it helps businesses to reduce expenses while still retaining the benefits of having a dedicated marketing expert. With a shared cost model, you pay partial CMO costs, but you still get all the C-level leadership 

    5 Unexpected Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO 

    1. Reduced Expense  

    The Fractional CMO model appeals to business owners because it offers the same advantages of an in-house CMO, but at a fraction of the cost. This means that you’re able to reduce your marketing expenses without impacting your bottom line. 

    2. Greater Expertise  

    The fractional model doesn’t mean sacrificing expertise. Often, CEOs find they get more experienced leadership than they ever would have been able to afford full-time. You’ll be able to benefit from a high-level marketing expert who can help you identify where your business needs to improve. 

    3. Scaled Wins  

    Working with someone who’s testing things across various companies, clients, and comfort zones at the same time can bring unexpected benefits. Lessons gained from one program, strategy, or client, immediately transfer to another, creating a ripple effect of wins.

    4. Better ROI 

    Hiring fractionally is a smart investment that allows your business to access key expertise, know-how, and management experience that are critical for growth. As the experts in their fields, CMOs are responsible for growing brand awareness, driving demand for the company’s products and services, and ensuring that you get the greatest return on your marketing investment. 

    5. Lower Risk  

    In the uncertain times of a looming recession, and with the vagaries of the funding and valuation of companies, you’re likely to want to avoid getting locked into a full-time hire. But you still need a way to achieve your growth goals for the year. Fractional CMOs are the way to go. You get competent talent at a fraction of the cost, as well as a battle-tested EOS system – but without all the risk.  

    One Size Does Not Fit All: How To Find The Right Fractional CMO For Your Company 

    When it comes to CMOs and companies, one size does not fit all.  

    Some companies are coming out of stealth mode and need someone seasoned in Goto Market, branding, and positioning. Other more established companies are looking for a CMO to come in to optimize or pivot legacy teams and strategy. 

    Some CMOs have a core competency in product marketing or demand generation. Others are highly skilled in branding and messaging.  

    The CMO you need today may not be the same one you need 10 years from now.  The goal is to find a CMO that is best aligned with where your company is now and who will be the best fit for that given stage of your journey. 

    There are a number of ways to find the right fractional CMO for your business.  

    1. Identify your growth stage of business.  

    This will help you to identify which areas in your business need a boost, allowing you to select the best fractional CMO for your needs. 

    2. Look within your industry.   

    While CMOs that have experience in diverse industries provide a unique perspective, finding a fractional CMO with experience within your industry can be invaluable. Some companies can help you find a fractional CMO who may be your industry fit. 

    3. Consider the objectives you hope to achieve.  

    If you want a high-level marketing expert, you need to ensure that you choose the right fractional CMO for your goals. “Why?”  should be your focus. Which overall objectives are you hoping to achieve? Answering these questions will help you find the best-fit Fractional CMO for you.  

    One Last Thing 

    The CMO knows more about marketing than anyone. They’re the person in charge of all aspects of marketing for a company, from social media to search engine optimization to content marketing.  

    However, you don’t need to hire a CMO anymore. A fractional CMO can do that for you. 

    Fractional CMOs are a new hybrid role on the business scene, one that is taking hold with businesses that may not have the need for a full-time CMO. Best of all, the fractional model doesn’t have to mean sacrificing expertise.  

    For many businesses, the right CMO could be one who is remote or fractional. Engaging with a fractional CMO role is a great way for companies to save money while retaining their leadership in their space. 

    If you want help finding the right fractional CMO for your company, yorCMO is here to help.  

    When we partner on the C-Suite, our marketing experts take what can be a complex process and distill it down into the exact hands-on marketing help you’ve been looking for. BOOK YOUR FREE CALL TODAY!

    About the author:

    Aditi Karandikar is a data driven performance marketing executive with over a decade of experience in demand generation and operations at B2B technology companies, helping them acquire customers, create revenue and brand awareness. She has put in place world-class growth strategies scaling pipeline creation for sales teams, managing marketing operations, team recruitment & mentoring, setting up martech stacks, and processes that have consistently delivered ROI and met the organizations’ pipeline goals. 

    Connect with Aditi, and see how she can help your business: