Blue Wave Marketing Blog

Why Hire a Fractional CMO and Not Full-Time?

by John Moran on Mar 18, 2016 9:00:00 AM

published on Mar 18, 2016 9:00:00 AM
Fractional CMO

A Fractional CMO could be just what your company needs.


If your small or mid-sized business in the Boston area could have the same kind of marketing leadership as a major corporation, what could it accomplish? How could it grow in lead generation, sales, and basically in every possible way? Well, it is possible for any size company to get top notch marketing leadership on just about any budget with a Fractional CMO.
What is a Fractional CMO?

A Fractional CMO is a part-time chief marketing officer who offers holistic marketing guidance to small and mid-sized businesses at a fraction of what a full-time CMO would cost. Fractional CMOs have experience with executive-level marketing leadership, often of major large companies including Fortune 500 companies in some cases.

Fractional CMOs may be seeking flexibility or may not want to move to a different location for a full-time position. Many Fractional CMOS are in the later part of their careers and have a desire to use their expertise to help newer companies get started or grow into their full potential. Fractional CMOs may work from a distant location and travel only for important meetings as needed.

A Fractional CMO position will not be a full-fledged marketing department, but will have a supervisory role to oversee and guide the company's own marketing efforts. Once the Fractional CMO facilitates the development of a marketing plan, company employees will do much of the actual marketing work, although the Fractional CMO can provide some marketing services as needed.


How can a Fractional CMO benefit a small or mid-sized company?

Small businesses typically need marketing leadership and expertise to maximize their market share and be able to grow in size and reputation. Fractional CMOs can provide this expertise and help businesses improve and develop their marketing efforts.

Let's face it. Too often, the corporate culture becomes a little too internally focused. In the daily struggle to find out what works for your particular situation, your marketing team may lose the ability to see the big picture. Your employees may be great at what they are doing, but may not be expert marketers who know what works to generate leads and conversions in the face of rapidly changing market conditions.

Without the best possible marketing strategy, your business could be at risk of losing market share to competitors, leaving profits on the table, or even failing to generate sufficient leads to keep the business going. In marketing, you can get some or even most of it right, yet still fail if you miss certain key elements crucial to a successful strategy. An experienced CMO will be able to provide this leadership and will know what works as a result of their previous top-level marketing experience.

Another benefit of Fractional CMOs for companies is that they are experienced in handling growth as the company scales upward. Other members of the C-Suite may not ever have gone through a company's growth process if it is their first executive position, but a Fractional CMO has the experience to guide the company through the learning curve and knows just what to expect at each step in the process.

Having the leadership of an experienced Fractional CMO will allow other members of the team to focus on their strengths without needing to do all the work of creating a winning marketing strategy as well. Once the strategy is in place, the Fractional CMO can delegate to other team members in ways that will fit with those strengths.


Fractional CMO

Fractional CMOs provide leadership and guidance to businesses about marketing.


Why not hire a full-time CMO?

Most full-time C-Suite positions have six-figure salaries with generous benefits packages. Small to mid-sized businesses often can't afford this cost on top of other C-Suite leadership salaries they may already be paying.

Sure, a CMO is expected to generate revenue once the marketing strategy is developed and implemented, but the law of diminishing returns often applies. While an effective marketing strategy may increase market share, leads, and sales, it may not increase them enough to justify a full-time position, no matter how hard the CMO works.

Another common scenario is that if a top notch CMO is hired full time, the position isn't large enough to challenge the executive's skills. Conversely, if a top salary isn't offered for a CMO position, the candidates are not likely to be top notch and may not be able to deliver successful results. For smaller businesses that want top tier help, a Fractional CMO just makes the most sense for both the company and the CMO.

Companies typically spend a great deal of time and money on the hiring process. What if the CMO just doesn't work out? A Fractional CMO is not a permanent, salaried position, so the company can move on easily if a particular CMO is not the right fit for the company. Instead of having to fulfill a contract or pay an expensive severance package, the company will retain the funds to try something else that might work better for them.


Fractional CMO: The best of all worlds

Marketing may be a full-time, all-consuming endeavor for any business trying to grow, but marketing leadership doesn't need to be. The best leaders know that they can't do it all on their own, but instead look to bring top quality out of those they work with so that the business functions as a cohesive whole at the highest possible level.

A Fractional CMO can bring top quality expertise to your company without paying a top salary that just isn't yet realistic. Your company can get the expert help it needs to move forward, while saving resources that it can then devote to other areas of the business. A Fractional CMO might be the difference between staying lean enough to prosper and being weighed down by too much overhead.

Blue Wave Marketing can meet your Fractional CMO needs with its proven experience including Fortune 500 clients. Download the free ebook "Why Your Company Needs a Fractional (Part time) CMO" for more information.

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