The case for a fractional CMO

What is a fractional CMO

Building an executive team to conquer a market can be challenging. Marketing, in particular, requires intense expertise to drive your company’s revenue and energize your customer acquisition capability. Augmenting your team for a period of time it lets you experience high energy levels for focused periods as you learn practical techniques from a highly qualified marketing expert. Adding to your go-to-marketing, the right person can be the needed dynamic source of energy, letting you maximize the benefits of growing your startup or mid-sized business under the guidance and inspiration of a seasoned Chief Marketing Officer.

What is a fractional CMO?

An expert marketing executive who spends highly focused time with you for a contracted number of hours can show you how to improve your company. The techniques for expanding your customer base and developing a dynamic sales program require explanation and demonstration until you understand them. A fractional CMO can teach by example the marketing methods that produce results.

With years as a career executive in the marketing field, your part-time CMO brings the knowledge and guidance of a senior administrator without the expense of an annual salary. Some may work directly with your research and help with the analysis and interpretation of the data. Others may want to bring in specialists and provide liaison between them and your company. In all cases, a fractional CMO knows how to do things that dramatically improve your company’s performance.

When you choose your professional adviser, you need to make sure the expert that you hire can address the issues that concern you. The right one can produces value far beyond identifying problems and recommending solutions. You have a right to expect measurable results from your temporary CMO.

How does a fractional CMO work?

The versatility a fractional CMO brings can help you set up marketing operations for a startup or revise them for an existing business. If you do not have anything in place yet, your part-time exec can design a branding strategy, develop an executable plan and even hire a marketing team. You can expect deliverables that set up cold calling procedures as well as content development for your website and other outlets such as direct mail and email marketing. Among the deliverables that you can expect a fractional CMO to produce, a social media strategy may rank among the most important.

As an existing business that needs to achieve greater results, your temporary executive can fine tune your strategy, operations, and technology, along with blogs, social media outlets, email lists, and website. The deliverables you can expect target your message at people who tend to become clients, and you get the benefit of working with someone who understands search engine algorithms and social networking. An ability to work with digital technology helps you boost traffic to your website by high-potential browsers. Your fractional CMO becomes an integral member of your team and guides every aspect of your marketing operation that includes content development, email marketing, pay-per-click, press releases, search engine optimization and more.

What does it cost?

The amount that you pay to have a fractional CMO work for you helps clarify your expectations of results. The services provide value making the investment worth every penny, but you need to treat it like an expensive wine that you enjoy only occasionally. The flexibility of a contract relationship lets you adjust the arrangement as you discover your most pressing needs. Many professionals work on a contract basis for 10 or 20 hours per week for two months, 12, 24 or longer, and some offer fixed priced contracts. For example, your fractional CMO may spend 10 hours a week on-site or work from a remote facility for eight weeks, or you may prefer a blend of on-site and off-site participation. A rate of $195-$300 per hour seems standard in the industry, but you can find many that charge more.

How does a fractional CMO help my company?

Everything that your fractional CMO develops belongs to you with no restriction on ownership or imposition of copyrights in any way. In the early days of a contract period, you may expect to let your exec work with relevant groups in and out of your organization to learn about your product and sales. Access to information about your company’s founders, management team, partners, contractors, agencies, sales calls and customers can provide a foundation for operational improvements. By the end of the first 40 hours, a seasoned professional has enough information to design a marketing plan that corrects deficiencies.

Key executives and stakeholders receive a roadmap of targets and milestones that put your company on a path to increased revenue and more customers. With a plan in place, you can expect your expert to turn to the tasks of implementation. Depending on the available time in your contract, your fractional CMO can locate vendors to perform the functions that make the difference in performance that you need and manage them as well. By the end of your contract, you have an aggressive approach to achieve results with your team’s expanded knowledge and skill.

Choosing Expertise the right Fractional CMO

Finding the right fit for a fractional CMO for your team depends on the three keys.

  1. Personality – The right CMO will mesh well with your executive team. They will provide insight and challenge status quo without behaving like a prima donna. Even though this person is not officially a part of your staff you should still look to understand their leadership style. They will need to get buy-in and execute without wielding all the power.
  2. Professional Experience – Fractional CMO’s who have the largest impact have the professional experience you are looking for. Most often this comes in the form of industry knowledge or background, but it can also come in the form of fresh ideas taken from a successful project/strategy you would like to exploit in your company.
  3. Pragmatism – Finding the right fit for your company will often come down to the approach your fractional CMO might take. Chief Marketing Officers must understand sales, marketing, go-to-marketing strategy, operations, and how to accomplish the goal in the most profitable manner. Taking a pragmatic approach to turning your vision into a balance of art and science will ensure your company isn’t over-investing in creativity or data. The right fractional CMO will take a pragmatic approach to balance these and should be able to articulate how they approach delivering data-driven results for the engagement.

At Hamer Marketing Group, we specialize in driving revenue and customer acquisition for startups and existing mid-sized businesses in the Woodlands area and around the world. Our approach to helping companies grow focuses on developing data-driven strategies with an emphasis on innovative and effective digital marketing. Visit here to learn more about our Fractional CMO services.