Tired of juggling marketing tasks with no CMO to share the burden? It doesn’t have to be that way. Imagine if you had a behind-the-scenes superhero ready to lend a hand without demanding a full-time paycheck. Say hello to fractional CMO services, a game-changing solution for busy teams—like yours—that need a marketing whiz (without the hefty salary).
Pretty cool, right? Whether you’ve recently lost your full-time marketing leader or aren’t yet in a position to have one, fractional CMO services can bridge the gap and help you accelerate business growth.
With access to this kind of sophisticated, experienced marketing leadership and strategic support, you can scale your marketing efforts to meet revenue targets.
Stick around to learn in detail about the different benefits of hiring a fractional CMO. We’ll also explore how outsourcing marketing leadership and strategy can benefit your business and the right questions to ask to find the best fit for your team. Let’s begin.
What is a fractional CMO?
A fractional chief marketing officer (CMO) provides your team with strategic marketing expertise and leadership as an alternative to a full-time CMO. They’re accountable to your leadership team and may be asked to oversee the execution of marketing initiatives for a short or long-term period.
They may be responsible for tasks ranging from ensuring your organization is measuring (and meeting) the right KPIs to finding ways to maximize your marketing budget.
Examples of how they can help
A fractional or outsourced CMO works with your internal team to define your marketing strategy, establish a budget, and prioritize the right sales and marketing tactics to move the needle.
They work closely with your executives and marketing team, consulting on the strategies and tactics necessary to meet your goals and grow your business.
Working with your existing resources, a fractional CMO may focus on areas such as go-to-market strategy and digital marketing planning, account-based marketing strategies, or developing your sales pipeline.
7 benefits of outsourcing marketing leadership
You may wonder why an organization wouldn’t just hire a full-time CMO rather than outsource the work to a fractional CMO.
Adding an experienced CMO might make perfect sense for some businesses, especially if they find a great candidate. But not all companies can bring someone on full-time. Others might struggle to keep up with marketing demands while on the hunt to find that perfect someone to lead their group.
No matter the reason you might be considering hiring a fractional CMO, there is a lot to gain by this type of marketing partnership.
Here are seven examples of those key benefits:
- Access to diverse industry experience
- Disrupting internal biases and exposing blind spots
- Accelerated innovation
- Enhanced team performance and mentorship
- Risk mitigation and crisis management
One of the biggest perks of having a fractional CMO on board is the adaptability they bring to the table. Life will always throw curveballs at you. It’s in those situations when fractional CMO services shine.
Grow with ease
Scaling your marketing efforts can be challenging, especially when you’re short on resources or expertise. With fractional CMO services, you can quickly ramp up or scale down your marketing initiatives as needed. Need to launch a new product or expand to a new market? Your fractional CMO can make it happen without breaking a sweat (or your budget).
Swiftly adapt to market changes
The business landscape is ever-changing, and adapting to market shifts is crucial for survival. Fractional CMOs are seasoned experts who can quickly read the signs and pivot your marketing strategy.
For instance, they might spot a sudden spike in demand for a specific product and quickly adjust your marketing efforts to capitalize on the opportunity. How’s that for staying ahead of the game?
Implement short-term marketing projects
Sometimes, you just need a marketing expert for a specific project or campaign. That’s where a fractional CMO comes in handy. They can jump right in, develop a winning strategy, and see it through to completion. And once the project ends, they can step back without any hard feelings. Talk about a win-win situation!
Access to diverse industry experience
One of the most underrated aspects of hiring a fractional CMO is the wealth of experience they bring from working in various industries. Trust me—this is a game-changer.
Learn from other sectors
In most cases, a fractional CMO isn’t limited to working in one specific niche. They’ve likely worked with various businesses and industries, which means they have a treasure trove of insights and experiences to draw from. Why not learn from the best practices in other sectors and apply them to your business? Your competition won’t know what hit ’em.
Leverage cross-industry knowledge
Cross-industry knowledge can be a secret weapon in your marketing arsenal. A fractional CMO can connect the dots between industries and identify unique opportunities you might never have considered. Consider how the automotive industry adopted assembly line techniques from the food processing sector. It’s that kind of thinking that can make a big difference!
Unearth unexpected synergies
In some instances, the most innovative ideas come from merging concepts from unrelated fields. With their diverse background, a fractional CMO can help you uncover those unexpected synergies. They might find a way to combine social media tactics from the fashion industry with your B2B marketing strategy. The possibilities are endless.
Disrupting internal biases and exposing blind spots
The best part is that a fractional CMO cares just as much about meeting your business goals and helping your team thrive as you do. And as an “outsider,” they can come in with a fresh perspective—without any internal biases or preconceived notions. Their job is to be objective and help take your team to the next level quickly and efficiently.
We all have our biases and blind spots, but when they’re left unchecked, they can hinder progress. A fractional CMO can be the fresh pair of eyes you need to shake things up.
Challenge conventional wisdom
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, following the same old marketing playbook. A fractional CMO, however, can challenge the status quo and ask tough questions, like “Why are we doing things this way? Is there a better approach?”
Their outsider perspective might just reveal a new, more effective strategy.
Encourage data-driven decision-making
Let’s face it, sometimes we rely too much on gut feelings and not enough on hard data.
A fractional CMO can help shift the focus to data-driven decision-making. They’ll dive into the numbers, analyze the trends, and make recommendations based on solid evidence. Who can argue with that?
Promote a culture of continuous improvement
A fractional CMO can be the catalyst for a culture of constant growth. Having someone to review and optimize your marketing efforts regularly will help your team adopt a mindset of always striving for better results. This growth-oriented mentality can work wonders for your company’s long-term success.
In today’s fast-paced world, staying ahead of the curve is essential. A fractional CMO can help you keep up with the latest trends and infuse your marketing efforts with cutting-edge techniques.
Infuse fresh ideas
Getting a fresh perspective can be a breath of fresh air for your marketing strategy. A fractional CMO, with their diverse experience, can offer innovative ideas that you might not have considered otherwise. It’s like having a secret ingredient that spices up your marketing mix.
Implement cutting-edge marketing techniques
Fractional CMOs stay on top of the latest marketing trends and technologies, which means they can bring advanced techniques to your business. From AI-driven marketing automation to immersive virtual reality experiences, they’ll help you stay ahead of the competition.
Spark creativity within your team
The presence of a fractional CMO can inspire creativity. As they share their knowledge and expertise, your team members will feel empowered to think outside the box and develop novel ideas. It’s a way for everyone involved to add more tools for their marketing toolbox.
Enhanced team performance through mentorship
Mentorship is a powerful way to inspire your marketing group’s professional growth. A fractional CMO can offer invaluable guidance and support to your team, nurturing the next generation of marketing leaders.
A fractional CMO can provide hands-on coaching to your marketing team, helping them sharpen their skills and grow in their roles. Whether it’s mastering a new marketing tool or fine-tuning a campaign strategy, your team will appreciate the expert guidance.
Nurture the next generation of marketing leaders
By sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience, a fractional CMO can help your team members realize their full potential. This benefits your team in the short term and paves the way for the next generation of marketing leaders within your organization.
Encourage professional growth and development
A fractional CMO can create a supportive environment for professional growth and development. They’ll encourage your team to explore new ideas, take calculated risks, and learn from successes and failures. This growth mindset can foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.
Risk mitigation and crisis management
Every business faces challenges. A fractional CMO can help you identify vulnerabilities and develop strategies for managing crises effectively.
Identify and address vulnerabilities
Fractional CMOs have a keen eye for spotting potential weaknesses in your marketing strategy. They can help you identify and address these vulnerabilities before they snowball into bigger problems. It’s like having a guardian angel watching over your marketing efforts.
Strategize for business continuity
In the face of a crisis, a fractional CMO can help you develop a plan for business continuity. They’ll work with you to craft a strategy that minimizes the impact of the crisis on your company and keeps your marketing efforts on track.
Provide expert crisis communication and reputation management
When a crisis hits, it’s crucial to communicate effectively with your customers, stakeholders, and the media. A fractional CMO can provide expert guidance on crisis communication and reputation management, helping you navigate the storm and come out stronger on the other side.
With fractional CMO services, you get access to an experienced senior marketing professional for a fraction of the typical CMO salary, which can be more than $200,000 annually. And while they’re not an employee of your company, they bring all the knowledge and leadership experience that a salaried executive would.
Reduce overhead expenses
Bringing a fractional CMO on board can significantly reduce overhead expenses. You’ll get all of the benefits of a CMO without the hefty salary, benefits, and other associated costs that come with a full-time executive. It’s a smart financial move that can pay off in the long run.
Optimize return on investment
A fractional CMO can help you optimize your marketing budget and ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. They’ll analyze your marketing efforts, identify areas of improvement, and implement data-driven strategies to maximize your return on investment. It’s like having a financial advisor specifically for your marketing needs.
Eliminate long-term financial commitments
Hiring a full-time CMO often involves long-term financial commitments. A fractional CMO, on the other hand, allows you the flexibility to bring in expertise only when you need it, without locking you into an expensive long-term contract. This frees up resources and gives you the freedom to allocate your budget where it’s needed most.
Signs your team needs fractional CMO services
Outsourcing the responsibilities handled by a CMO role is typically the most beneficial for companies looking to accelerate growth while going through changes in the business or by those organizations who have recently lost their marketing leader or don’t have the resources for a full-time CMO.
But there are many reasons that outsourcing marketing leadership might make sense for your organization.
Is a fractional CMO right for you?
Here are a few questions to ask:
- Should we create a comprehensive marketing strategy (or improve our current one)?
- Could we use assistance in developing a marketing budget?
- Do we need help planning and prioritizing the right marketing tactics?
- Would we appreciate help in choosing the right roles for our internal team?
- Are we looking for support with reporting or determining the right KPIs?
- Do our marketing and sales teams need to enhance their alignment?
- Would having an experienced marketing leader around to mentor our team be valuable?
If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, your team could benefit from fractional CMO services.
Every business has unique needs, so the right partner will take a personalized approach and meet you where you are regarding what you need from a marketing leader. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to fractional CMO services.
How to find a great fractional CMO
At any given time, every organization has different strengths and challenges. So it’s essential to find the right fractional CMO partner that complements your team and meets your current needs.
A discovery call with a potential partner is a great way to learn more about their specific skills and experience and a time for you to share your challenges, goals, and opportunities for growth.
You want to find a partner with the marketing bonafides you’re looking for but who will also be a good cultural fit for your team. As you evaluate potential fractional CMO partners, you can also ask them to provide a statement of work or proposal that includes information like the specific services they can provide, their typical process, proposed timelines, and fees.
Embrace the power of a fractional CMO
It can seem impossible to handle marketing tasks on top of your main job. You might think, “There’s no way I can do all of this by myself—and do it well.” And you know what? To do marketing well takes time and expertise, so feeling that way is 100% normal—especially if you don’t have access to a magical time-turner, like the one Hermoine used in the Harry Potter books.
A good partner will be flexible and able to customize their offerings to those your organization will benefit from most.
When you decide to hire fractional CMO services, you’ll have a new maven to back your team up and bring flexibility and a wealth of knowledge to help you reach your marketing goals. They’ll question the status quo, mitigate risks, and fuel innovation—all while being a budget-friendly alternative to a full-time CMO.
As a busy leader, you don’t have to carry the entire marketing weight on your shoulders. A fractional CMO can be your ace in the hole, enabling you to face marketing challenges with confidence while fostering the growth of future marketing leaders within your team.
Fractional CMO services from TBH Creative
With over 20 years of marketing leadership experience, the team at TBH Creative will work with you to define your marketing strategy, level up your marketing team, and accomplish your goals.
TBH Creative has been a tremendous partner through good times and challenging ones. We can rely on their expertise to help us in many ways, including technical skills, creativity, and analytics.Anthony Gioia, OrthoIndy Chief Financial Officer
We’ll work with you to develop a short-term and long-term marketing strategy that drives revenue and sets your business up for sustainable growth. Let’s talk.