What does “fractional CMO” mean?

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The CMO role is changing. More and more companies are recognizing that giving the C-suite title to one person—the current, full-time marketing leader—isn’t ideal.

The growing complexity of marketing technology, data storage, and artificial intelligence means the CMO needs to be able to act as the chief strategist for the entire company.

However, just because companies expect a CMO to be strategic doesn’t mean there are any specific requirements for the job title. In fact, there are currently no firm laws dictating how a company should define or hire for its CMO position.

As such, your company might call someone other than an actual CMO a “fractional” version of the role. If you don’t yet have someone who acts as your primary marketing leader, it can still help to think about what attributes you’re looking for in your next hire.

What does “fractional CMO” mean?

A “fractional CMO” might be a person who doesn’t have the title of CMO but does many of the same roles. Fractional CMOs could technically be anything from a marketing manager to an in-house agency. They might work directly for your company or for a vendor that you contract with, such as an advertising agency.

So why do some companies call a fractional CMO a “fractional” one? It’s not because they think this position is less important than the full-time role. It’s simply because there is no standardization for what this position should entail. While someone with the title of “CMO” assumes a lot of responsibilities and is given extensive resources, there isn’t any single requirement for what it means to work in marketing.

What are some strategies brands use to effectively market their products online?

Many brands choose to market their products online by using digital marketing channels like social media, search engines, and email marketing campaigns.

Social media allows consumers to easily find information about popular items and brands through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Additionally, social media allows companies to establish an authoritative online presence that consumers can trust so they are more likely to purchase products or services from them in the future.

Search engines allow companies to target audiences based on different demographics such as location or age demographic. Plus, search engines provide access to keywords that help people who are

Who can be a fractional CMO?

If you haven’t already identified a full-time CMO, you might look to hire someone in charge of marketing strategy. That person would take on the responsibility of overseeing all aspects of the company’s marketing efforts.

That individual would need to have strong experience in digital marketing, analytics, and social media marketing. Additionally, your fractional CMO would need to be able to act as a strategic adviser for the company’s leadership team.

How to hire for the fractional CMO role

A CMO needs to have a range of skills, from understanding the fundamentals of marketing to being able to build and execute an effective strategy.

Beyond that, you’ll want someone with a strong work ethic who can manage a team of strategists and analysts.

This person should also be able to provide data-driven insights on what’s working and what isn’t across your marketing channels. They should also be able to work with stakeholders across the company while maintaining their ability to be strategic in the new role.

If you don’t have a full-time CMO yet, consider interviewing candidates for this role. You might be pleasantly surprised at how many people are qualified for fractional CMO roles!

When you need a full-time marketing leader

When you need a full-time marketing leader, you might be able to find someone who holds another title in your company. For example, if your company already has a CFO or VP of sales, one of those titles could act as your chief marketing strategist. But when there’s an absence of that person or if the person can’t fulfill that role, it can help to think about what characteristics you want to see in the next hire.

What are some common requirements for the job? It can help to think about what skills and attributes they should have and how they should approach marketing strategy.

Here are some things that typically come up in positions like this:

  • A background in strategy
  • A background in analytics
  • Experience building campaigns and managing budgets
  • The ability to evaluate data to determine the best course of action

Why you need a fractional CMO

When you are a fractional CMO, you need to be responsible for strategy, data science, and analytics. That means that the person at the helm of your marketing team is not only responsible for executing tactics and implementing campaigns, but also understanding how to leverage the power of technology.

You should also ask yourself what areas of the market you want your marketing team to be able to focus on. If you don’t have enough resources to devote full-time attention to each area of interest, it can help to hire someone who can be strategic in multiple areas—or even act as a VRF.

The best version of this role is one that is defined by specific skills and experience.

The person who holds this position might have a background in digital marketing or retail marketing but has no formal experience in either field. That person might know about these fields and simply be willing to learn the ropes from their CMO counterpart.

In addition, companies might decide they want a full-time CMO if they want their company’s brand messaging or branding strategy unified across platforms.

They might also decide on a full-time option when they believe that having an individual with more knowledge about digital media can help them grow faster than if they had multiple people in different roles with similar responsibilities.

What’s next for your company’s marketing?

It’s not just about hiring a CMO; your company needs to start thinking about what marketing strategy you’ll be using in the future.

A number of quality companies like Hubspot and Hubspot Live have been using blogs to help drive conversions with their marketing strategies. If your company doesn’t currently have a blog, or you don’t see the value of blogging, consider starting one up to better engage with your customers on a daily basis.

Another area that might make sense is becoming more innovative with your marketing content. You should look at how you can create better videos to share, or how you can incorporate new social media platforms like TikTok into your overall marketing strategy.

The trick is to keep an eye on what’s happening in the industry and then adapt accordingly. If social media becomes oversaturated with similar content, for example, your company might need to shift gears by creating more original content such as video series or infographics instead.

Wrapping up

When it comes to marketing, companies are looking for strategic leadership in the mix. This allows for more efficient and effective marketing activities.

For example, the CMO of a company may need to be the only person with access to certain customers’ data and other company-specific information. This is why there’s a growing trend towards fractional CMO roles because one person can’t do everything alone.

To finish up this article, I have outlined six reasons why digital marketing is important for your business...

  1. You can target your ideal audience
  2. You can use pictures in your ad campaigns
  3. You can gain better conversion rates
  4. You can get a higher ROI
  5. It helps establish an authoritative online presence
  6. It has many different ways to promote your brand

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