What Is a Fractional CMO, and Why Should You Hire One?

If your business needs help with its digital marketing, but you’re hesitant to partner with a full-service agency, you may want to hire a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer instead. What is a Fractional CMO, exactly? These industry professionals are contractors who work with your business to develop your marketing initiatives, and help you select the best digital tools for lead generation. In fact, they perform many of the same functions as traditional CMOs, but for less time and money. Whereas a full-time CMO hired internally can cost a company upwards of six figures, a Fractional CMO costs as little as an entry-level employee and only contracts with you for a limited number of part-time hours each month.

Why Would You Want a Fractional CMO?

The primary reason you’re more likely to choose a Fractional CMO has to do with your budget. Many small- to mid-size businesses aren’t looking for all of the fancy bells and whistles that a comprehensive marketing department can command, because they haven’t grown to the point where those are affordable — much less necessary. 

That’s why Fractional CMOs look more appealing for two reasons: first, because they’re far less expensive; and second, because the tools and services they recommend are customized for your budget, make the most sense for your desired growth, and are selected based on what you’ll actually use. 

This à la carte style works whether you have in-house marketing executives or not, and can take off a lot of the pressure that you may experience when discussing these services with an agency. Fractional CMOs are more approachable, acting as single points of contact who build one-on-one relationships with your team. They still have access to a network of marketing professionals — either at an agency they work for, or with other contractors they know — that they can call upon to perform the specific services that you agree to with their guidance. 

Note: Going “full services” with a marketing agency could still be relevant to your business in the future. Fractional CMOs merely offer a reasonable and affordable bridge to get there.

What Do Fractional CMOs Typically Discuss?

Fractional CMOs can learn about your business and advise you on a long-term digital marketing strategy that includes inbound and outbound marketing, website development, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and press releases.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is about getting leads to come to you — and by you, we mean your website. That means it needs to rank well, be easy to navigate, and offer strategic calls to action based on what visitors are seeing. CMOs will advise you on keyword use and how that ties into ranking your website for SEO: whether it’s about material on specific landing pages, developing high-quality content (more on that below), running promotions on social media, or using PPC advertising and retargeting.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is about going to your leads. While this used to be done primarily through cold calling, email automation has largely replaced it — both for initial prospecting with unqualified leads, and for established marketing to leads who have opted in to your emails. Fractional CMOs can advise you on the different types of email automation, which are ideal for your needs and the size of your contact database, and how to make sure that you adhere to email best practices so that you protect your sender reputation.

Content Marketing

Content that helps you rank your website and encourages leads to talk with you can come in many forms, including landing pages of success stories or videos; gated pieces of content like ebooks, white papers, or checklists; user-generated content; hub pages; and press releases that reach national distribution, to name a few. Fractional CMOs can talk you through which of these make the most sense to develop based on your industry, your target audience, and the results you want to see, then coordinate that work with a qualified copywriter. 

How To Know if You Should Hire a Fractional CMO

Now that we’ve discussed what a Fractional CMO is, the next logical step is determining whether one is right for your business. To do that, you need to consider three important questions:

  1. Which areas of marketing do you find to be difficult?
  2. Which areas of your marketing need the most improvement?
  3. Is hiring a Fractional CMO within your budget?

You won’t need to have definitive answers to these questions prior to talking with a Fractional CMO, but they are worth thinking about in advance so that you’ll know what priorities you’ll want to make sure are covered in your discussion. 

Would You Like To Talk With a Fractional CMO?

Marketing Armor has a Fractional CMO who would be happy to talk with you about your business goals for 2023, and see which customized digital marketing solutions are the best options for getting you there. Whether you have preliminary questions, or would like to dig deeper into how these solutions could benefit your team, please click the link below to schedule a free consultation.

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