What is a fractional CMO and what do they do?

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A fractional chief marketing officer, or F-CMO, is someone who works and practices within the field of marketing but is not an official member of the corporate marketing department.

They work with brands, agencies, and digital agencies to help businesses grow their customer base, build brand awareness, and develop an effective wholistic marketing strategy .

A fractional CMO works with a company’s top managers to determine how to use marketing resources and to develop a strong marketing strategy to succeed in their industry or business niche.

This means a fractional CMO may report directly to a general manager in charge of operations rather than reporting directly to the CEO or other management team. Read on for more detail about what a fractional CMO does and its benefits and drawbacks compared with traditional full time CMOs.

What is a Fractional CMO?

A fractional CMO, or F-CMO, works and practices within the marketing field but is not a full time employee of the organization or a permanent member of the executive team. A fractional CMO will develop marketing initiatives and display marketing leadership in an organization.

A fractional CMO works with a company’s top managers to determine the best ways to use marketing resources to succeed in their industry.

This means a fractional CMO may report directly to a general manager in charge of operations rather than reporting directly to the CEO or other management team. A CMO has many different responsibilities, including:

  • Determining how much money should be allocated for marketing activities
  • Planning strategic marketing initiatives
  • Developing marketing campaigns and creative concepts
  • Working closely with internal departments such as design, engineering, finance and human resources
  • Working closely with external departments such as advertising and sales teams
  • Developing a plan for how to reach new customers across multiple marketing channels
  • Analyzing marketing data about customers’ preferences and buying habits for future product development

Why use a fractional CMO?

Fractional CMO’s are useful for companies that don’t have a large enough marketing department. They can help you grow your business without the need for a full-time marketing manager. As a fractional CMO, you can be a part of the decision-making process and help drive growth.

You can also work with outside vendors to ensure that you’re getting the best possible results from everything you do in terms of marketing campaigns.

A fractional CMO helps when there is no one on board who has all the skills needed to manage everything that comes with marketing efforts: defining an overall strategy, setting goals and objectives, monitoring progress, budgeting and tracking performance, evaluating ROI, and making sure it’s on track.

Fractional CMs should be able to take responsibility for those tasks when needed.

Drawbacks of a Fractional CMO

Fractional CMOs may not have the same level of authority and responsibility as traditional marketing managers. They may be limited in what they can do, for example, with respect to budgets. In this case, a fractional CMO might be tasked with generating leads rather than actually driving sales.

An F-CMO also may not have the experience that traditional marketing officials have from years working in a company. As such, they might need to rely on outside experts to help them make decisions and provide guidance.

Advantages of Fractional Marketing Managers

Fractional marketing managers work outside of the traditional marketing department, which can provide numerous benefits.

These benefits include:

  • The ability to be an extension of a brand’s marketing team and not its competitor
  • The ability to help with the growth and development of a brand
  • The opportunity to build rapport with brands, agencies, and digital agencies
  • The opportunity to build relationships with other CMOs in the industry or business niche where you are working

F-CMO job growth outlook

The job outlook for F-CMOs is growing as more people are recognizing the need for these individuals. There is a demand for hiring a fractional CMO in a variety of industries and generally, the demand for F-CMOs is growing faster than that of traditional CMOs.

In fact, it’s estimated that the number of jobs will increase by 20% by 2020 over the previous decade. But there are some drawbacks to this growth.

For example, salary rates are lower than those of traditional CMOs, as fewer companies want to pay for an individual without corporate experience who doesn’t report directly to top management.

And because F-CMOs don’t have official corporate experience, they may find it difficult to be promoted into a more senior role in their careers with traditional employers. F-CMO job growth is predicted to continue, but not everyone will benefit from the increased demand.

Final Words

A fractional CMO can be an invaluable asset to your business. They are a gateway between the marketing and operations departments, which means they can quickly and efficiently share information about new trends and innovations for marketing strategies.

They also have experience in more than one area of marketing so you’re not just getting one perspective on your brand’s progress. However, one thing is certain: F-CMOs aren’t employees of a company, so they don’t have the same benefits as a traditional marketing executive.

In addition, F-CMOs usually make less money because they don’t get access to their company’s top management like traditional CMOs do. At the same time, they are granted the flexibility of working as a CMO for multiple companies and can develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for multiple companies at once.

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