In the world of botany, there are only a fortunate few who have the expertise to produce green, healthy, and thriving plant life every time they put a seed in the ground. For the rest of us – well – we generally need MiracleGro or some other catalyst to make the garden grow.
As a CEO, you, too, are invariably looking for your own version of MiracleGro – that evasive ingredient you need to help catalyze growth and turn your brown landscape a verdant shade of green. The good news? A confluence of trends, including the rise of the “gig economy” and the COVID-19 pandemic, have supported the notion of the fractional Chief Marketing Officer – essentially, a gardener supreme who brings the plant food, seeds, and water in a bid to help you sow success.
Although the pandemic alone was not the force that gave rise to fractional executive employment—in fact, fractional executives have been around for decades—it did accelerate an existing trend toward companies attaching less value to where people work and how many hours they put in the office and, instead, focusing more on outcomes. Fractional Chief Marketing Officers fit perfectly into this change in mentality.
As a CEO, you likely have experienced the frustration that goes with investing significant resources, time, and capital to bring along a new member of your senior leadership team, only to realize all too soon that the fit wasn’t optimal, or the results were less than stellar.
In fact, the average tenure of a corporate CMO these days is just 40 months – a downward trend that illustrates the difficulty in achieving a lasting fit. With flexibility being the name of the game these days, more executives are embracing the opportunity to find the resources they need now – today – to get or remain competitive in a hyper-charged marketplace.
By hiring a fractional executive, you can cherry pick someone who has the particular skills you are looking for, along with new perspectives that might serve you well – for example, someone who could help you apply next-generation thinking about the software world into your retail business, or someone who has developed successful strategies in retail that would apply well to manufacturing.
In my experience as a fractional executive, I’ve seen a variety of scenarios where hiring a part-time CMO was the right path. Here are five such reasons:
Of course, knowing you need a fractional resource, and determining the best option, does take some more insights than I’ve shared here. It is my hope in this blog series that you will learn how to best assess your current needs and challenges and to understand what resources you need to close the knowledge (and success) gap.
Future blogs will answer the questions:
Ready to earn your marketing green thumb? Stay tuned for our next blog!