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Would you consider hiring a fractional CMO?

As an innovative business, how can you get a boost of key talent without committing to the cost of permanent C-suite resources? In finance, IT and even HR we have seen a move over the past few years to introduce “fractional leadership”. Organisations commit to a fraction of a key persons’ time to look at a problem, provide some specialist insight or provide seamless coverage.

However, in the marketing area, this is a more recent discovery albeit somewhat of a contradiction – as marketing as a function was probably an early adopter of the concept of outsourcing specific skills yet has lagged in the fractional C-suite arena. More recently, innovative firms have started to embrace the concept of hiring the most experienced CMO professional available, only for the hours of consultation needed each month and for a fraction of the cost of hiring full-time.
A Fractional CMO can quickly become the right-hand to an existing CMO, as an outside, unbiased peer, to add valuable insights. Where there is no CMO in place, the CEO is usually forced to fill in the role of Chief Marketer in the interim, where a fractional CMO contracted for a fraction of a full-time CMO’s salary with clear objectives and deliverables in place, can get the job done allowing the CEO to focus on their priorities.

A fractional CMO can add value in many ways by bringing their industry expertise, leadership skills and experience to a new environment, but can be particularly effective when:

  1. A business wants to recruit a permanent CMO but knows that it will take time to find the right candidate and the business still needs to move forward while they do this.
  2. Companies with an existing marketing team but no CMO, who would like an independent review of the performance of the team and direction of the strategy.
  3. A small to medium start-up looking to take their idea to the next level and needing CMO-level leadership to generate a distinctive value proposition and strategy.
  4. Companies who need a fresh perspective to re-energise their thinking and new business strategies

It certainly seems to be a quicker and more cost-effective way of getting strategic marketing capability into your business. Beyond that, fractional CMO’s possess a fresh, unbiased outsider’s perspective. They will not be bogged down by company politics and bureaucracy. Instead, they will feel free to point out flaws, voice concerns and give honest feedback and suggestions that revolutionize your marketing function.

So next time you are looking at bringing some senior marketing support into your business, think about hiring a fractional CMO – you might be surprised by the benefits.

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