What is a Fractional CMO and how can they benefit you and your business?

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21/01/2020

So you know that your CMO (chief marketing officer, global marketing officer, marketing director – whichever term you prefer) is the keeper of the keys when it comes to strategising and overseeing business development focused marketing for your company. But what does a Fractional CMO do and what are the benefits of having one?

Essentially, a Fractional CMO does all the same things a regular CMO would do, but without the costs of a full-time member of staff. They help drive customer acquisition, sales development and company growth. The result is that your company gets the kind of senior leadership that it needs, but without the traditional associated costs.

 

Why have a Fractional CMO instead of a full-time CMO?

The main reason for opting for a Fractional CMO is cost effectiveness. Most beneficial to small and medium sized companies, the short answer to this question is that a Fractional CMO is not as expensive as a full-time member of the team.

Importantly, this isn’t about being cheaper, but being more cost effective. Most mid market size firms, businesses and organisations don’t have the budget for a full-time, highly experienced CMO, or if they do have the money, a full-time CMO might not be perceived to be the best use of funds.

The chances are that you need a full-time member of the team to action the daily marketing tasks. However, the strategy behind that is a role that can be effectively (arguably more effectively) filled in a non-executive director capacity, brought in at key points in the year and an organisation’s evolution.

More often than not, organisations think they need to hire a CMO full-time, and within a year they realise they only need it at key junctures and they can hire a manager to execute plans at a lower expense. In short, hiring a Fractional CMO is the best bang for your buck, and there is simply no wasted effort.

Not a new idea, but a new way of thinking about it

The concept of a Fractional CMO, or any non-executive director role, is not new. Companies have been doing it for decades. What has changed in recent years, however, is digital communications, the rise of the third career, and the desire for individuals to work differently, in particular embracing the gig economy in favour of a different work/life balance.

The result is the availability of highly experienced talent at a fraction of the traditional cost. It is a flexible revolution that works for people who don’t want to be in an office every day and for companies that don’t need all their roles to be filled every day of the week. However, it’s supported by the ability to communicate at the drop of a hat from anywhere in the world, should the need arise.

 

How do you find the best Fractional CMO for your needs?

In our experience, the ideal Fractional CMO is someone who has reached a point in their career where they are no longer striving principally for personal gain. With a rich CV and knowledge gained through the hard graft of years going through the ranks, they bring integrity, trust and a seasoned outside perspective to your business in order to guide it forwards, either in general or through a particular growth phase.

We believe the most successful Fractional CMOs are in their ‘third careers’. That is to say, they’ve done the groundwork, they’ve been in the seat of full-time leaders, surrounded by other senior executives, and they’re no longer striving to build that kind of competitive momentum in their own careers. They’re motivated by interesting projects, fulfilment and freedom, and when they come to your business they’re not coming with ego and agenda to compete with other egos in your business. They’re not involved in office politics, they have no agenda for wanting to rise up the proverbial food chain. They’re there to support business leaders and their teams. At gigCMO we take the Fractional CMO concept to the next level with our roundtable philosophy.