A Fractional CMO could be your business Game-Changer
Updated: Jun 14
What is a fractional CMO?
A Fractional CMO is a marketing executive to help with customer acquisition, sales development and company growth. Your company gets executive experience without the full-time cost.
Many businesses can’t afford to hire a high-priced, full-time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) / Marketing Director. They don’t want to make a huge commitment, and they don’t want to overhaul everything they’re currently doing. Instead, they just want some gentle nudges in the right direction from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
This is where a fractional CMO service provides the balance between affordability and results impact your SME requires during the £1m to £10+m sales revenue scale and growth stages.
What does a fractional CMO bring to your business?
A highly experienced business, marketing and growth leadership executive, will support you with your strategic marketing plan and help drive appropriate future marketing strategies/activities to achieve your business, sales and marketing goals.
A typical outline of experience, capability and benefits are likely to be aligned around the following:
Oversees Marketing Implementation
Provision of Services On-Demand
Insightful Strategies, Tactics, Tools and Processes
Executive Peer Review
Executive management Team Member (part-time)
Strategic Project Support
Maximise Your Limited Marketing Resource
Executive Marketing Coach to Mentor Your Marketing Leader/Personnel
Advisory Service for CEO Support to Develop market-orientation and marketing effectiveness
Strategic Planning Workshops
Digital Marketing Strategies
How a fractional CMO Service should work?
Your CMO should provide a limited and typically fixed amount of their time each month. 2 days per month is a typical amount of time a CMO will afford any one client, as they balance their time on single digit clients at any time and have other business priorities.
That's not to say they won't prioritise your business, of course they will, but there should be a very clear scope on what they do and what you are paying for. At the end of the day, an experienced CMO (think Marketing Director also!) will bring a different perspective to you than someone that manages say your social media, or paid ads. A good CMO will also have the ability, team, resources to help you outsource all or elements of our marketing execution.
When evaluating a fit for purpose CMO for your business, they should be evaluating your fit for them also...it's vital that you both align and are good partners for each other, so that you go on that growth journey together. A CMO onboarding process will follow a typical 4-step framework, such as:
Typically, a CMO should engage your business via some form of understanding your challenge and opportunities for growth.
It's vital that there is a fit with the CEO/Business Owner and the CMO. Both parties have to feel there is alignment in culture, experience and value to be provided.
Scope of Requirements
Next part of the process should be to scope up the specific requirements, outcomes and timeframes and any other execution costs.
Ideally your CMO should be ready now to on-board and should be offering a month-to-month arrangement with no long-term contractual commitment. If they are confident on their ability, they will not need to rely on extended contractual commitments...that's not to say you shouldn't tie for a longer period of time if the stars are aligned.
The Key Benefit brings Marketing Leadership
Strong marketing leadership is essential for any business or organisation. If no one is currently leading your marketing team, if your first-party data is under-utilised because of lack of technical expertise, or you are hesitant to add a full-time marketing expert to your executive team, a Fractional CMO can help drive results without the additional costs and commitments.
A Fractional CMO is not for Everyone!
Typically, this type of relationship and service tends to work best with fast/high growth startups and SME businesses. An experienced fractional CMO doesn't need managing, they bring senior experience and only need oversight from the CEO or business owner. The CMO does rely on the business having staff to take direction and execute the strategy or the willingness and resources available from the business to consider outsourcing all or part of the marketing tasks to be executed.
Some well-established fractional CMOs may well have their own digital marketing agencies and can tap into a team of fractional Digital Marketers. This can be a superb blend for businesses that have no or little marketing strategy and execution capability. It ultimately offers a full outsource without the full-time cost, which can be ramped up or down as required.
A typical fractional CMO starts at a minimum of £2,000 per month and that's likely to buy you 2 days of a senior experienced executive addition to your Management Team or/and someone able to support in an advisory role, coach your marketing personnel and make things happen.
Autus provide Revenue Growth Platforms, Marketing Automation and Digital Marketing services to help sales and marketing personnel and teams build efficient and effective sales and marketing best practices and automate their marketing and sales processes by leveraging personalised content, various digital marketing tactics, segmentation and behaviour of their prospects and customers.
Our founder, Tom Berry, also provides selective fractional CMO services and is a member of some client boards.
Let's keep in touch!
If our team at Autus can help advise further, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our founder, Tom Berry.
Connect with Tom on Linkedin