Fractional CMO | Fractional Chief Marketing Officer

Find out why 1,400+ Businesses have tapped our fractional CMOs

What is a Fractional CMO?

what-is-a-fractional-cmo (2)A Fractional CMO is a marketing executive to help with customer acquisition, sales development and company growth. Your company gets executive experience without the full-time cost. The idea of a mid-sized company hiring a fractional executive is not new. Virtual CFOs, for example – pioneered by companies like Tatum and vcfo – have been around for decades. They can bring incredible value to companies where having a full-time CFO wouldn’t make sense, either fiscally or even practically due to the typical scope of challenges needing attention. At Chief Outsiders, we provide that same kind of value to your marketing department.

A Fractional CMO is an experienced marketing executive who works with a business on a fractional basis, with a focus on:

  • Defining marketing strategy
  • Translating marketing strategy into action and results
  • Managing, growing, and mentoring the company’s marketing team
  • Driving sales growth

The idea of mid-sized companies hiring fractional executives is not new, though there has been significant growth in this practice over the past several years. A fractional CMO can bring incredible value to companies where having a full-time CMO wouldn’t make sense, either fiscally or even practically due to the typical scope of challenges needing attention. 

With more than 110 experienced CMOs from a wide variety of disciplines, the Chief Marketing Officers from Chief Outsiders become a key part of your executive team — prepared with decades of experience and insights that they use to take a holistic view of your business. 

Fractional CMOs from Chief Outsiders work with you to develop strategic insights, formulate branding strategy, and oversee a marketing transformation that will get you – and keep you – on top of your competitive marketplace. They embed with your leadership team and seek to understand your business objectives in order to  to develop fresh and impactful marketing strategies that will drive growth for your organization.   With their experience running the marketing function and developing marketing talent, they can transform your team into a lead machine, driving sales growth.

Because our experienced professionals are available for fractional engagements, they are a more affordable option than hiring a full-time CMO or marketing agency. And they deliver with excellence, earning more than 2.5 times the industry average Net Promoter Score from their satisfied clients.


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Questions we often get about Fractional CMOs:

 
Some of the reasons why people hire Fractional CMOs:

 
A deep dive for your HR folks or other management on various aspects of Fractional CMOs:
 
 
Some approaches you might consider to engage a Fractional CMO:

 
 
 
 

Why hire a fractional CMO?

fractional-cmoThough most companies can benefit from senior marketing leadership, it can be a challenge to find the right combination of experiences and cultural fit — and being able to afford an experienced executive in that role can often be a dealbreaker. Add to that this stark reality – that the average tenure of a full-time CMO today is just 40 months – and it may make sense for you to hire a fractional CMO. 

Working with a fractional CMO can be the best solution to developing your marketing strategy to support business growth. A fractional CMO is perfect for short-term engagements, such as filling an unexpected CMO vacancy, a need to quickly refocus marketing efforts and accelerate growth, or engaging an executive advisor that can be your marketing eyes and ears. 

Chief Outsiders – with more than 110 fractional CMOs available – can help you find the right fractional CMO, right now. Our fractional CMOs have been vetted to ensure they have the right level of experience, insights, and skill to catapult your business growth.

 

Fractional CMO Services

fractional-cmo-services (2)Today's business challenges are more complex than ever before. Companies must continually adapt your product or service to meet the needs of today's marketplace while delivering a solid return on investment (ROI). The answer to increasing sales lies in creating a comprehensive marketing strategy to connect with buyers and accelerate revenue growth. Such an important effort requires the skills of an experienced marketing professional. 

At the strategic level, a fractional CMO can deliver marketing plans, lead competitive intelligence efforts, identify and manage progress toward KPIs – in essence, building a marketing machine that you can rely upon. Plus, they’re adept at working alongside the CEO and embedding with your executive level leadership – trusted with working on high-level business objectives that are the foundation of your company’s goals.

Chief Outsiders fractional CMO services can help your company:

  • Develop marketing campaigns
  • Manage external marketing agencies
  • Oversee sales enablement programs 
  • Spearhead branding efforts, and 
  • Execute product launches, demand generation campaigns, and channel marketing initiatives.

Our fractional CMOs can help ensure that your company is meeting its strategic objectives, including key performance indicators, and is maximizing the return from its overall marketing operations.

 

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Spinning Your Wheels

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Marketing is always conceived with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, those initial ideas don’t always pan out. What’s worse is that some of the businesses most in need of guidance don’t even realize that there’s an issue.

Why?

So many companies are unable to even track their marketing metrics, much less do anything about the problems they see. They’re ill-equipped to quickly pivot to a new strategy, either because of bureaucracy within their organization or because they think they need to stay the course with their current course of action. The end result is a business that’s quickly left behind for other, more attractive competitors. It’s a truly unfortunate, yet totally preventable scenario.

 

A New Direction for Marketing

Lack of direction is a common problem in these businesses that can’t figure their marketing out. Every day brings light to a new marketing concept, a new gimmick that seems to be a sure-fire way to turn things around. But without an overall plan, these tactics are largely ineffective.

A strong leader can help a business of any size to create and implement a realistic and powerful marketing plan -- but not just any plan. It’s one that works directly with the strengths of the company and the needs of their customers. It’s a strategy that’ll work in the short term and pay serious dividends over the long term.

But a good leader does more than just shore up processes. A good leader instills morale in the company’s employees and helps them to buy into the new way of doing things. A good leader also interfaces with executives and ensures that they provide the appropriate support for these new initiatives. This leader knows when it’s time to change course and when more time should be devoted to a campaign. In short, the entire organization benefits from the addition of one individual.

 

How A Fractional CMO Can Help

Of course, most businesses don’t have the capital available to bring in a high-priced, full-time CMO. They don’t want to make a huge commitment, and they don’t want to overhaul everything they’re currently doing. Instead, they just want some gentle nudges in the right direction from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Enter a fractional CMO from Chief Outsiders. Instead of bringing in a permanent executive at an executive salary, you can instead hire a CMO that acts as a consultant to your business. You not only get the direction you need, but you also get a wealth of experience. Every Chief Outsiders outsourced CMO comes with significant experience in at least two notable organizations, giving you the peace of mind that comes with bringing in someone with proven knowledge and expertise.

Best of all, using the fractional CMO services of Chief Outsiders gives you much more than one new face in your company. You also gain access to the shared experience of The Tribe, a group of more than 75 CMOs who have seen it all and done it all. If your CMO doesn’t have an answer, he or she can quickly get it from someone with experience in that exact scenario.There’s nothing you can’t achieve through our virtual CMO services.

 

How Does A Fractional CMO Work, and What does a Fractional CMO Do?

how-does-a-fractional-cmo-work (2)A fractional CMO, in short, is expected to function as an integral member of your senior leadership team. They are experienced industry marketing executives who know how to be accountable to the C-suite, and are expected to oversee execution and deliver results. A fractional CMO also has a hands-on approach with your existing marketing resources to focus on business growth, audience growth, and implement account-based management strategies. 

As lead executive responsible for your marketing efforts, a fractional CMO carries the weight of such responsibilities as influencer marketing, digital marketing, conversion rate optimization, SEO, paid media, marketing automation, and account-based marketing. They can also guide private-equity-owned businesses through the key milestones set forth by the PE firm.

We offer a variety of fractional CMO packages that are designed to span the needs of mid-sized companies. For a brief but more detailed look at how a fractional CMO tackles growth challenges, read this article on “What Does a Fractional CMO Actually Do?”

Outsourced CMO

Part-time, Executive Addition to Management Team

Your Chief Outsider becomes a part-time executive addition to your staff, bringing a market-based perspective to crystalize strategy and manage implementation to drive growth.

 

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Full-time, Interim Executive

Need a pinch hitter while your marketing executive is out? Or perhaps you simply need a more concerted, full-time resource to lead your marketing strategy.

Strategic Project Support

For extra executive bandwidth or to pass off an entire strategic project, Chief Outsiders is ready to help. Your CMO will drive the strategy and make sure your project delivers results on time.

 

Advisory CMO

Coaching Services for Marketing Development

Looking to maximize the impact of your limited marketing resources? Chief Outsiders offers an experienced C-level executive coach to mentor your company’s marketing leader and make big things happen. Full Details Here >

Advisory Services for CEO Support

For business leaders who want to personally develop their market-orientation and marketing effectiveness, Chief Outsiders offers this cost-effective advisory service for CEOs.

Strategic Planning Workshops

Now you can tap the decades of experience of a tenured CMO for your strategic planning process! Our proven approach to 1/2 day to 2 day planning sessions that include quarterly checkpoints are valuable annually or anytime a fresh look is required. Full Details Here >

Marketing Audits

Perhaps you’d simply like an objective opinion about your current marketing department, your processes and initiatives. A marketing audit will produce clarity and actionable insights in a short timeframe, at a reasonable cost.

Digital Marketing Strategies

A Digital Marketing Competitor Analysis compares your company’s performance data with your competitors using 3,000 points of data to formulate digital marketing growth strategies tailored to your business. Learn more >

 

Reach your Goals with a Fractional CMO

Most organizations who struggle to find their marketing voice make the wrong choices. Either they go for short-term clicks at the expense of long-term credibility, or they saddle themselves with expensive hires that hamper the company’s ability to plan for the future. That all changes with Chief Outsiders, who offer a true game-changing proposition. Now, you can benefit from decades of knowledge, all at a reasonable price and term. When you hire a fractional CMO, you make a wise investment that will help you out both today and tomorrow, without sacrificing your company’s long-term objectives. In fact, you may just find that your fractional CMO can help you to achieve those goals much sooner than you think.

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Fractional CMO Agency

fractional-cmo-agency (2)Working with an experienced fractional CMO agency such as  Chief Outsiders is the quickest way to hire a CMO to serve as a senior marketing leader who aligns with your C-suite and executive management. Chief Outsiders does the heavy lifting of ensuring that you are hiring a fractional CMO who has achieved excellence in marketing leadership, who has delivered proven results, and who can align with your corporate culture. 

When you hire a Chief Outsiders Fractional CMO, you can be assured of retaining an experienced industry marketing executive who is prepared to function as an integral part-time member of your senior leadership team. A Chief Outsiders CMO will guide you through periods of rapid growth and help you gain market traction.

 

Fractional CMO Salary | Fractional CMO Rates | Fractional CMO Hourly Rate

fractional-CMO-salary (2)Retaining a fractional CMO is the ideal way to get the kind of deep insights and experiences of a Fortune 500-tested CMO for a “fraction” of the price. At Chief Outsiders, our fractional CMO rates are based upon a monthly retainer model, varying by the proportion of the CMO’s time desired to help you meet your objectives.

 

Fractional CMO Responsibilities | Role Of The Fractional CMO | The Fractional CMO and Marketing

fractional-CMO-responsibilities (3)The responsibilities of a fractional CMO should be commensurate with those of a trusted, C-level professional. Though a fractional CMO serves on a part-time basis, they should be treated as your most senior marketing executive. A Chief Outsiders fractional CMO doesn’t just craft strategy or provide advice – they are uniquely equipped to be accountable to the C-suite, and are often tapped to oversee execution and deliver results from marketing initiatives. 

They take a best practices, hands-on approach with your existing marketing resources to focus on sales pipeline development, go-to-market planning, and account-based management strategies. They should ensure that your company is meeting its marketing KPIs and is maximizing the return from its overall marketing operations.

 

Fractional CMO Job Description

fractional-CMO-job-description (2)A fractional CMO owns your marketing function – someone who can serve as the most senior marketing executive in a business, without the need for you to bear a full-time cost. A fractional CMO is no less passionate about  your business than a full-time resource – in many cases, they are more well-rounded than most as a result of their track record and deep experiences in driving growth.

A fractional CMO reports directly to the CEO and is focused on marketing plans, partner relationship building, the building of marketing processes, sales pipeline development, and more. Their responsibilities include oversight of the  in-house marketing team, external agencies, market research, and public relations. 

At Chief Outsiders, we further define the ideal fractional cmo job description this way: It should be someone who can bring strategic insight and flawless execution to the marketing objectives that matter most to your company. They should have the wealth of industry knowledge to help you reimagine how your business is branded, marketed, and perceived, along with the versatility to develop new programs and channels to communicate your brand promise and value proposition clearly to your audience. An experienced CMO also should have the background and experience required to reach the right markets with a well-orchestrated plan, launch, and execution strategy.

 

Hire An Outsourced Fractional CMO

hire-an-outsourced-fractional-CMO (2)When it’s time to give your marketing efforts new direction, you need a game-changer in the role of Chief Marketing Officer. Why not hire an outsourced fractional CMO for this important responsibility? Working with an outsourced fractional CMO – like those on the team at Chief Outsiders – can move the needle quickly for your company, providing a fresh perspective on your people, products or services, and processes.

                                                      Contact Us

 

Hire A Fractional CMO | Hire an Outsourced Fractional CMO

hire-a-fractional-CMO (2)With a trove of experience honed at multiple companies, when you hire a fractional cmo, our outsourced fractional CMOs are adept at guiding you through periods of rapid growth, helping you to gain market traction, and to serve as the strategic leader of your in-house marketing team. They will put processes in place that will deliver repeatable and predictable results from your marketing efforts. And they deliver with excellence, earning more than 2.5 times the industry average Net Promoter Score from their satisfied clients.

At Chief Outsiders, we have more than 100 fractional CMOs who have been vetted to ensure they have the right level of experience, insights, and skill to catapult your marketing objectives forward. Additionally, we can find you the right CMO for your business – someone who understands your business holistically, and has a deep network of partners in various disciplines that they can engage.

 

How to Select Your Fractional CMO

Step 1
Discovery Call

At your convenience, Chief Outsiders will set a time for you to share your unique challenges and opportunities for growth

Step 2
CMO Match

We help match your situation and requirements to one or more fractional CMOs, facilitating your selection to ensure you’ll get the right expertise plus a good cultural fit

Step 3
Statement of Work

We develop a customized statement of work to achieve the desired outcomes with agreed to timeframes and costs

Step 4
Quick Start

Your CMO gets started in days, working month to month, without a long-term commitment

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Fractional CMO FAQs

What is a fractional CMO?

A fractional CMO is a key part of your executive team — prepared with world-class experiences and insights that they use to take a holistic view of your business. They work with you to develop strategic insights, formulate branding strategy, and oversee a marketing transformation that will get you – and keep you – on top of your competitive marketplace.

How much does a fractional CMO cost?

A fractional CMO generally works on a retainer basis and is compensated based upon the amount of time required for the engagement. Unlike a full-time CMO, which can be very costly for an organization, a fractional CMO is a great alternative – allowing you to deploy the savings realized toward developing the marketing team (say, a director and a junior marketer for instance), and accelerating the timetable to real results.

How do you become a fractional CMO?

Becoming a fractional CMO means that a marketing leader has reached the pinnacle of their craft – a seasoned executive who is capable of creating and executing a company’s go-to-market strategy. Though there is no set timetable to become a CMO, generally, you want a well-seasoned senior marketing leader who has led marketing strategies and big picture marketing plans for many years.

How much is a fractional CMO?

Compensation for full-time CMOs varies widely, depending upon the skill and experience of the person, $150K - $570K numbers for base pay come up in a quick search of the internet, with averages ranging in the $250K-$300K range. Fractional CMOs, by contrast, usually collect a fee or retainer for a block of hours of dedicated time to your company, which is a much smaller outlay.

What  does fractional CMO mean?

According to Forbes, a fractional CMO is “a marketer who works with businesses for a fixed amount of time in a given month, often just a handful of hours.”

How does a fractional CMO work?

Fractional CMOs from Chief Outsiders work with you to develop strategic insights, formulate branding strategy, and oversee a marketing transformation that will get you – and keep you – on top of your competitive marketplace. They embed with your leadership team and seek to understand your business objectives with enough clarity to develop fresh and impactful marketing strategies that will drive growth for your organization. 

Do I need a fractional CMO?

A fractional CMO is perfect for short-term engagements, such as filling an unexpected CMO vacancy, a need to quickly refocus marketing efforts and accelerate growth, or to engage an executive advisor that can be your marketing eyes and ears. 

Why do you need a fractional CMO?

You need a fractional CMO if you need a rudder for your marketing efforts – someone who comes prepared with insights, strategies, plans, and tools that will help you focus and execute your marketing goals with excellence. At the strategic level, a fractional CMO can deliver marketing plans, lead competitive intelligence efforts, identify and manage progress toward KPIs – in essence, building a marketing machine that you can rely upon.

What should I look for in a fractional CMO?

An ideal fractional CMO is adept at working alongside the CEO and embedding with your executive level leadership – trusted with working on high-level business objectives that are the foundation of your company’s goals. They also should be able to motivate marketing team members, develop strategies that are in lockstep with your business objectives, and have a toolbox filled with ideas and resources to implement those strategies into the marketplace. 

What are the benefits of hiring a fractional CMO?

Hiring a fractional CMO allows a company to leverage the skills and insights of a world class executive marketer for a fraction of the price of full time. It also allows companies to find the right combination of experiences and cultural fit at a price point that they can afford. 

How can you find a good fractional CMO?

Agencies like Chief Outsiders are dedicated to finding, vetting, and engaging some of the world’s most experienced and insightful Chief Marketing Officers. Find an agency that does its homework in building out its CMO roster – and, preferably, one that has a wide variety of CMOs that are experienced in your marketplace or vertical.

How much does a fractional CMO cost?

Compensation for full-time CMOs varies widely, depending upon the skill and experience of the person, $150K - $570K numbers for base pay come up in a quick search of the internet, with averages ranging in the $250K-$300K range. Fractional CMOs, by contrast, usually collect a fee or retainer for a block of hours of dedicated time to your company, which is a much smaller outlay.

What does a fractional CMO do?

A fractional CMO can be the best solution to fortifying your brand, instilling a sense of marketing leadership, and keeping your marketing strategies and marketing efforts on track.

How do you become a fractional CMO?  

Becoming a fractional CMO can be as simple as “hanging out your shingle” and seeking part-time executive-level marketing engagements. However, most companies seek assurances that the fractional CMO they hire has the experience, insights, track record, and cultural fit to make an impact in their most senior marketing role. That’s where an agency like Chief Outsiders comes in. They vet CMOs to ensure they have the right background, temperament, and relevant skills – ensuring companies of a quality hire that will suit their near-term needs.

What are fractional CMO services?

Fractional CMOs work with you to develop strategic insights, formulate branding strategy, and oversee a marketing transformation that will help companies compete in a crowded marketplace. They embed with your leadership team and seek to understand your business objectives with enough clarity to develop fresh and impactful marketing strategies that will drive growth for your organization. 

What does a fractional CMO cost? 

Compensation for full-time CMOs varies widely, depending upon the skill and experience of the person, $150K - $570K numbers for base pay come up in a quick search of the internet, with averages ranging in the $250K-$300K range. Fractional CMOs, by contrast, usually collect a fee or retainer for a block of hours of dedicated time to your company, which is a much smaller outlay.

Who Should Use a Fractional CMO?

A company can benefit from a fractional CMO if they are dealing with an unexpected CMO vacancy, needing to quickly refocus marketing efforts and accelerate growth, or simply looking for the right experience in a right-sized engagement. 

What are some advantages of using a Fractional CMO?

By using a Fractional CMO, you are able to benefit from the skills, experiences, and insights of a CMO right away, without the protracted process involved in hiring a full-time CMO. You also can select a fractional CMO that has direct experience in your industry or vertical – so they can contribute immediately, and implement strategies and tactics that can make a measurable difference in a more efficient time frame.

Do Fractional CMOs typically work in-person or virtually?

Fractional CMOs are able to work on whichever terms suit your company best – available to work in-person, but able to be equally effective in a fully-virtual or hybrid environment.

When should a startup bring in a Fractional CMO?

Startup companies might consider bringing in a Fractional CMO to manage their fledgling go-to-market aspirations. An experienced fractional CMO brings decades of experience in your industry, and knows how to deliver time-tested methodologies, processes, and a track record of success. 

When Should A Fractional CMO Be Hired?

A company may consider retaining a Fractional CMO to help fill an unexpected CMO vacancy, to quickly refocus marketing efforts and accelerate growth, or to simply benefit from the right level of experience in a right-sized engagement.