What is a Fractional CMO?

A Fractional CMO is an experienced marketing professional who fulfills the role of a Chief Marketing Officer on a part-time basis for a local business. Sometimes they’ll also be known as a “Contract CMO” or “Part-Time CMO”.

Similar in function to what a Fractional CFO does, Fractional CMO services provide consultative and strategic services at an executive level to a business owner. While CFOs focus on financials, the CMO manages a company’s branding, advertising, publicity, and other essential creative functions. They also work with outside vendors to ensure the operation runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis.

What are the benefits of working with a Fractional CMO?

A Fractional CMO can sometimes be a great alternative to hiring a full-time employee.  A business owner isn’t responsible for typical employee-related expenses such as FICA, Medicare, Income Tax, or providing healthcare benefits.

Finally, because they typically operate outside of the organization, they can offer a valuable outside perspective and feel comfortable in being candid and honest with a business owner in a way that a direct report employee may not.

What's the difference between working with a Fractional CMO and a Marketing Agency

A marketing agency typically provides the same set of resources to multiple businesses. For example, the same pool of content writers write for every client company. Fractional CMO’s are able to select and source resources and professionals that have specific industry expertise in their field.

While an agency provides an account manager that holds periodic strategy sessions and check in calls, fractional CMO’s typically meet frequently with the business owner and work with them on a highly personal and individualized basis.

Do all businesses need a Fractional CMO?

Actually, not all businesses are ideal for a Fractional CMO engagement. If the business has less than 5 employees or has been operational for less than 2 years, a fractional CMO might be overkill for your needs. You might consider working with a specialized service provider such as a social media manager or an SEO expert.  (We can introduce you to several companies that we partner with on a regular basis).

Conversely, if your operation is large enough (employing more than 50 people), or you operate physical locations in several geographic areas across the country, it’s probably a better idea to hire a full-time resource that can spend a large portion of time managing logistics and geographic strategies for each location.

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