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Is a Fractional CMO Worth It?

Understanding the Role of a Fractional CMO

A fractional CMO is someone who is a part-time executive who is in charge of an in-house online marketing team. It covers being a chief marketing officer, but it’s not a full-time position for businesses that don’t need someone full-time for that. Companies that don’t hire a full-time CMO are usually just starting and can’t afford to hire someone with that executive status full-time. It can also be viewed as just a service they are providing since they aren’t an in-house person for the company. Fractional CMOs still have the same duties as full-time ones the only difference is the number of hours they work on their projects. Their duties include building a strategic marketing plan, conversion-rate focused, and budgeting. 

Comparing Full-Time vs. Fractional CMOs: Which is Right for You?

When looking at full-time and fractional CMOs, both come with their benefits. It’s important to research and figure out the needs of your company before looking into which type of CMO is best for your business. It also depends on the budget as hiring someone full-time is more money for their salary than someone part-time. The benefits of having a fractional CMO are: 

  • Wide range of expertise: They usually have experience working with different industries, company sizes, and marketing challenges. 
  • Specialized skills: They can be specialized in SEO, PPC, or content marketing, which can be something the company is missing. 
  • Flexibility: The person can work on a project or retainer basis, which gives your company more control over the amount of work and budget. 
  • Valuable outside perspective: A fresh perspective gives the company a fresh set of eyes, leading to better business outcomes. 

Full-time CMOs also have some benefits, which are: 

  • Available whenever you need them: They will work the same hours as you and be in the office or online when you need their expertise. 
  • Part of the company culture: They contribute to the company culture by being a full-time employee and part of the team. 
  • Provide a comprehensive marketing strategy: If your company needs a full makeover of marketing strategy, having someone full-time is necessary. 

There are other factors to consider when deciding if your company should get a fractional CMO or a full-time CMO. Some of the other factors to consider are budget, how much you’re willing to pay someone, company culture and if you want employees to build a relationship with the person, and scope of work, which would have to do with how involved you need the person to be with the workload. 

The Cost-effectiveness of Engaging a Fractional CMO

As mentioned above, fractional CMOs are cheaper than hiring someone full-time. Fractional CMOs vary in price, depending on the pricing model and their level of expertise and years of experience in the field. The pricing models for fractional CMOs are hourly rates, monthly retainer, and project-based pricing. Some of the factors that affect the cost of a fractional CMO are: 

  • Experience and expertise: Fractional CMOs with an impressive work history and many years of experience usually ask for a higher rate to be paid. 
  • Industry and company size: If the industry is highly regulated and has complex marketing requirements, it may require a more specialized expert. Larger companies also usually need more extensive marketing duties performed. 
  • Scope of work: Projects that are more extensive and time-consuming will require a higher pay rate, however, one payment works for the fractional CMO. 

If your company is looking for a fractional CMO because it is a cheaper option, you need to consider if you want someone with a more specific track of marketing or if you want someone who has overall experience with being chief of marketing and what projects they’ve done in the past. Just remember choosing someone with a lot of experience or someone more specialized in something you need specifically for marketing will be more money than someone with less experience or just overall helping with marketing strategy every so often. They also aren’t full-time employees so you won’t always be able to reach them if they aren’t working the time you contact them, so you have to be okay with not getting answered right away sometimes. 

fractional CMO for online marketing

Key Responsibilities Typically Managed by a Fractional CMO

Fractional CMOs have the same work-wise responsibilities as full-time CMOs with fewer hours and some with a more specialized background. They usually are hired over someone who would work the full 40 hours because there’s a smaller budget or the company is small and only needs limited marketing help. Some of the roles a fractional CMO might have to do are: 

  • Leads the marketing team: The CMO will lead the in-house marketing team the company has and streamline the day-to-day operations of the marketing team. 
  • Improves digital presence: Anything displayed digitally for your company has to be constantly managed. The CMO is in charge of revamping what already exists for digital outlets: email, social media, and customer service. It needs to look cohesive with the branding across all the company’s digital channels. 
  • Manages branding: Helps design and manage the team’s branding strategy so that the team’s work is cohesive. 
  • Leads paid and organic marketing initiatives: The CMO has the expertise to grow the business through marketing that can naturally grow your sales and acquire new ones. 
  • Manages content marketing: They audit your current marketing practices and optimize the growth via content. 
  • Onboard new marketing team members: Since the CMO is in charge of the marketing team, they must train and explain what’s happening to a new team member. 
  • Oversees marketing technology integrations: There need to be certain technologies in place that track your data to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing. 
  • Strategizes email and social campaigns: They usually have a plan to create a cohesive marketing message across all channels. They also have to optimize current campaigns and get new growth opportunities. 
  • Reporting marketing results: This adds accountability to the CMO and marketing team, using a KPI (key performance indicator). 

Making the Decision: Evaluating if a Fractional CMO is the Best Fit

A fractional CMO might not be the best for your company if it doesn’t meet the criteria you need for your business. It also isn’t recommended for companies that are very large and need a lot of help with marketing each day. Fractional CMOs only work limited hours and won’t always be working on a project you give them if they are contracted to work for you since they have other clients they work with as well. If you’re considering getting a fractional CMO, you can learn more about how it works by calling Blue Interactive Agency at (954) 504-9105

About the Author

Sean d'Oliveira

Sean d'Oliveira

After graduating from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Sean d’Oliveira began his career in journalism. After a decade in the industry, Sean transitioned into the world of digital marketing in 2017, where he honed his online marketing skills and copywriting expertise for various clients.

About the Author

Sean d'Oliveira

Sean d'Oliveira

After graduating from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Sean d’Oliveira began his career in journalism. After a decade in the industry, Sean transitioned into the world of digital marketing in 2017, where he honed his online marketing skills and copywriting expertise for various clients.

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