You know you need high-level marketing direction and leadership to continue to grow your business. But your employees are already engrossed in day-to-day operations, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to run your company and spearhead marketing operations, too.

Hiring a full-time Chief Marketing Officer sounds like a dream — but budget constraints make it impractical for most small to medium-sized businesses. That doesn’t make reaching your growth objectives any less critical, though. 

So what’s a business owner to do? Hire a Fractional CMO.

What is a Fractional CMO?

A Fractional CMO is a marketing leader who divides their time between multiple clients. You pay only for a ‘fraction’ of the CMO’s weekly hours; however, you get all the benefits of a senior marketing professional during those hours. That means high-level marketing leadership for your business — without the burden of executive-level costs.

Depending on your goals, you’ll likely work with your Fractional CMO for 10 hours a week for a minimum of six months. Throughout the contract, your outsourced CMO will direct and execute a marketing strategy to drive revenue and streamline business growth.

Unlike a freelancer, a Fractional CMO brings marketing leadership and a proven track record of success. When compared to a consultant, a Fractional CMO tends to be more involved in marketing execution and day-to-day business operations. 

The right Fractional CMO can be a game-changer for any small to medium-sized business. Let’s take a closer look at five reasons it might be time for your business to hire one: 

Five reasons you need a Fractional CMO

1. You don’t have a marketing strategy

You’ve got big goals for your business. Now, you need a marketing roadmap to help you get there.

The problem is, your current marketing efforts feel scattered and fragmented. Maybe you’ve got a handful of people tackling social media or paid ads, but no one is steering the ship. It’s not you or your team’s fault. Your employees are already managing day-to-day operations, and you’re busy running your company. However, that doesn’t change the fact that your business needs an intelligent marketing framework.

That’s where an outsourced CMO comes in. They know how to create and execute the right growth marketing strategies to improve your bottom line. And your employees? They benefit from clear, high-level leadership that empowers them to deliver better results.

2. You don’t know if your marketing is actually working

Your website has decent traffic. Your paid social ads seem to get some engagement. But are any of your marketing efforts transforming leads into life-long champions of your brand? What about, at the very least, improving your bottom line?

You didn’t start your business to waste time and resources on marketing tactics that don’t get results. 

A Fractional CMO will create well-defined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and success metrics specific to your goals. They’ll obsess over the data to quickly zero in on what works and — perhaps more importantly — what doesn’t. That means you only invest in the marketing tactics that matter. 

3. Your business could use a fresh perspective

Every business can benefit from new, innovative ideas. The best Fractional CMOs offer wide-ranging expertise. They’ve worked in various industries and can apply relevant tactics you and your team might not otherwise consider. 

A Fractional CMO will also evaluate your marketing efforts with fresh eyes. Maybe you’ve had the same marketing strategy for years. But thanks to digital transformation in marketing, your business growth is not as robust as it once was. 

A Fractional CMO will combine cutting-edge marketing strategies with cross-industry knowledge for accelerated business growth. 

4. You want financial flexibility but also a long-term growth

We’ve already touched on the cost-saving benefits of hiring a Fractional CMO. However, it bears repeating: if you’re stretching limited marketing resources, a Fractional CMO could be your wisest investment yet. 

Your business might not be ready for another full-time executive salary with benefits. That’s okay. With a Fractional CMO, you mitigate financial risk. Your company still gains insight and leadership from a marketing expert — without the hefty price tag or long-term financial risk of hiring a full-time marketing executive.

Though most Fractional CMO contracts are only six to twelve months, you’ll see both short-term benefits and long-term results from the right marketing strategy. And that means your business wins.

5. You’re serious about growing your business

You’re not satisfied with ‘good enough’ when it comes to your business. You’ve got big goals, and you’re going to achieve them. But you also realise that you and your team are already too engrossed in your current business tasks to tackle a high-level marketing strategy.

That’s why you need a marketing expert with a proven track record of success by your side. Someone who knows how to execute an innovative marketing strategy — and will obsess over analysing the data and optimising results along the way. A Fractional CMO delivers just that.

How to hire a Fractional CMO

A quick LinkedIn or Google search is all it takes to find a long list of Fractional CMOs. Of course, not all outsourced CMOs are created equal. Before hiring anyone, here are a few things to look for:

1. Experience

Remember, a Fractional CMO is not the same as a freelancer. You’re not seeking to delegate a few tasks. Instead, you want a high-level marketing executive with proven experience growing businesses online. Vet for testimonials from past clients. 

2. Systems

A Fractional CMO should have systems and processes they follow to get their clients results. Note that systems are not the same as cookie-cutter solutions. Your marketing strategy, KPIs, and success metrics should be unique to your business and goals. But your Fractional CMO should have a system for working with companies and proven processes that they follow.