If you are a small to mid-sized business in nearly any industry, marketing is perhaps your most important department. But do you have the expertise on staff to direct a new product or service strategy, develop a comprehensive marketing plan or bring in the right team to execute your ideas?
Enter the Fractional CMO. Though fractional executives are not a new concept by any means, utilizing one is becoming more popular for a variety of C-level roles. However, you may not have heard of a Fractional CMO or understand how to use one effectively for your business.
What is a Fractional CMO?
A Fractional CMO is an on-demand marketing executive with proven expertise that your organization hires as a consultant. Instead of bringing in a permanent executive at a hefty salary, a Fractional CMO gives you the high-level assistance and direction you need for a fixed term or ongoing part-time basis.
They are the senior executive responsible for your growth strategy and marketing execution.
What are the Benefits of a Fractional CMO?
Expertise, Not Just Experience
Your Fractional CMO will bring years of expertise in a variety of roles to the table. They will have held senior management positions in reputable companies and managed marketing teams. They will have a database of agencies or contract professionals who they regularly collaborate with — all which will be accessible to your organization. These may include digital marketing experts, social media managers, branding strategists and video producers as well as many other niche specialists. They have a penchant for bringing the big picture together.
Your senior leadership team may want growth, but it isn’t sure how to develop a plan to achieve it. Suffice it to say no matter what your company is going through, your marketing strategy can’t suffer. However, without a seasoned leader, strategic direction is often abandoned for tactical pursuits.
This is a common situation in which a Fractional CMO would take the lead. Having an experienced marketing executive — even on a part-time basis — is crucial to keeping the team focused on core objectives and strategies to meet your goals.
Once your strategy is defined, creating an action plan to achieve your objectives comes down to process. Who on your team is going to take ownership of the marketing plan, implement effective strategies and tactics and measure the results along the way? Who is going to be nimble enough to evaluate your efforts and make changes based on those results? Your Fractional CMO will guide this development and refinement process.
Do you have the team you need in place to achieve your goals? Are you prepared to evaluate their performance and augment the team as needed? Do you have a list of contractors ready and willing to work on a freelance basis? Rather than serve as a daily manager, your Fractional CMO will deliver high-level guidance to your in-house managers, who will then direct daily activities.
Accountability and Reporting
A well-structured engagement with a Fractional CMO ensures that the CMO develops the growth strategy and implements the marketing plan. Performance accountability through measuring and reporting results are all part of that package.
Structuring Your Fractional CMO’s Role
Whether it’s in-office consultation or remote leadership, there is really no right or wrong way to utilize a Fractional CMO. That’s part of what makes it so attractive to many mid-size businesses — flexibility.
One thing recent events have shown us is that the workplace has changed dramatically in a very short time. Remote work, Zoom meetings and a more serious demand for work-life balance have caught some senior managers off guard. These shifts also incorporate operational and often financial changes that have required smart businesses to adapt. Your Fractional CMO is experienced working in this remote new world that traditional managers may have trouble navigating.
And as a functional leader on a part-time basis or fixed-term structure, your costs with a Fractional CMO are much more manageable than a full-time employee with benefits, and your risks are significantly lower than onboarding a top executive who ultimately isn’t a good fit.
Taking the Plunge
In the simplest terms, a Fractional CMO works with your organization as a part-time marketing executive who delivers full-time, strategic results — from developing a marketing strategy to creating an executable plan to mentoring a marketing team that excels.
Isn’t it time you invested in this critical role?
Contact Highforge today to learn about how our experienced Fractional CMO team can get you the results you’re looking for.