The benefits of fractional CMOs are no secret. In fact, according to a recent study, over half of all businesses with under $250 million in revenue will utilize a fractional CMO in the coming year. Not only do fractional CMOs bring diverse experience and creativity to the table, but they also cost 60-80% less than full-time employees. However, there's one question that many business owners have — how do I find the right fractional CMO for my company? Here are five tips:
When do you need a fractional CMO?
A fractional CMO is a type of CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) who has a contract with the company to provide services. A fractional CMO may be called a "half-time" or "quarter-time" CMO, which means they work a reduced schedule at half or less than full-time hours per week.
A fractional CMO can help you if:
- You are an early-stage company and don't need someone full-time or want to pay for it right now.
- You want someone with marketing experience but don't want the extra cost associated with hiring someone full-time.
- You have already hired your own marketing team but are looking for assistance in areas where they may not have the expertise, such as PR, social media, or SEO/SEM strategy.
Determine which fractional CMO model is suitable for you.
Fractional CMOs come in two different forms:
- The most common type is the CMO-as-a-service, where a company hires an outside firm to handle all its marketing needs. This option allows companies to focus on their core business while still getting expert guidance from a seasoned professional. It's also easier for companies with limited resources because they don't have to hire or train any new staff members.
- The other option is the CMO-as-a-consultant, where a large firm brings in an experienced leader who works on specific projects rather than taking over entire operations at once. This approach gives businesses more control over their marketing plans but requires more overhead costs since more people are involved (though this may be worth it if you need help making significant changes).
Find the skill set that matches your need.
Look for someone who has experience in your industry. Fractional CMOs come from various industries, so you may have to search outside your own industry if you're looking for a specific type of experience. If possible, find someone with recent experience at a similar company and try to learn as much as possible about their background and approach before choosing them as an advisor or consultant—especially if they are going to be working with employees on the front lines of customer-facing roles at your company once hired.
Look for someone who has experience with your culture. If there are cultural factors that impact your business model (for example, if there is significant variation between how customers are treated based on their demographic or geographic location), then it would make sense to select an advisor whose style meshes well with yours while they take charge of those aspects under their purview during this temporary period where they fill some critical holes left by senior leadership vacancies.
A critical characteristic you should look for in someone who's going to run a fractional CMO is a learner's mindset. This means they are open to new ideas and willing to learn from their mistakes and listen to others around them.
It's essential to find someone who wants to take risks, try new things and learn from successes and failures.
Talk to your team to get their input.
It's always a good idea to ask your team for their input. Many factors go into choosing the right fractional CMO, and it can be easy to miss something. By discussing the candidates with them, you'll see if they have any reservations or doubts about one or more of them. They may also have some ideas on how you could find a better CMO candidate than those who came up during your research phase!
Look for someone who cares about your company.
When choosing a fractional CMO, look for someone who cares about your company. A fractional CMO should be invested in your success and have a vested interest in seeing your company succeed. They should be interested in working with you because they see something special that they want to help achieve. The best fractional CMOs will understand what makes you different from other companies and share your passion for being unique.
An excellent way to determine if someone is passionate about working with you is by asking them super specific questions about their past experience working with similar companies like yours (if applicable). A great response would include particular examples of how he grew their business through his efforts, as well as details on how he accomplished these goals.