Posted on: Jun 16, 2020

Posted in: Fractional CMO

Tagged as: Leadership | Organization

What is a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer?

A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is an economically attractive way of upgrading your company’s marketing strategy and execution. The principal goal is to optimize the return on your marketing investment. Engagement models for Fractional CMOs vary greatly. In essence, they serve as interim executives, part-time marketing leaders or on a project basis.

Some typical activities for a Fractional CMO might include:

  • Development of an overall, multi-channel marketing strategy with specific, measurable plans
  • Review of the current marketing organization, tools and technologies
  • Organizational development including optimal organization based on your goals and, potentially, hiring
  • Individual development and mentoring
  • Competitive analysis with a focus on competitor messaging, brand differentiation and advertising/SEO leverage
  • Supervision of existing in-house resources, agencies and partner relationships
  • Project-based initiatives including new product launches, new market expansions, development of new distribution channels, customer retention & optimization strategies

A Fractional CMO delivers marketing advocacy – both to your leadership team and to all of your external constituents. They frame an effective and efficient marketing program designed to drive revenue. The economics of fractional marketing enable world-class strategy, at a fraction of the cost of hiring.

Why Would I Retain a Fractional CMO?

Most Fractional CMOs are retained when a company reaches a significant milestone or a market-driven event that calls existing marketing strategy into question.

These milestones might include:

  • Departure of an existing marketing leader
  • Desire to explore a potential re-branding of your company or product(s) based on market maturation
  • Emergence of a new competitor
  • New product introductions
  • Revenue milestones – shortfalls or over-achievement
  • Perceived misalignment of sales and marketing programs
  • Questioning of overall marketing spending & ROI
  • Desire to upgrade marketing programs based on changing market conditions
  • Evolving focus from/to new customer acquisition, customer retention and/or optimizing lifetime client value

Nearly all of the projects we have been involved with over the past 25 years have included one or more of these milestones, as companies seek to redefine their marketing strategy and programs, and adapt to their changing world.

What Should I Look for in a Fractional CMO Candidate?

Like any key contributor to your business, your potential Fractional CMO needs to be a “fit” for your current situation, yet have the “headroom” to take you to the next level:

  • Cultural fit with your organization
  • Relevant industry experience for your product and target markets
  • Operational experience in similar distribution models, as appropriate: Business-to-Business, Direct Sales, Distributors, Dealers, Resellers, and Business Development
  • Enterprise Scale: Experience in similarly sized organizations based on your 24 month target revenue levels, size of customer base and span of control
  • Market-Communication Skills: Strong branding experience, storytelling and evangelism
  • Strong Process Orientation: A commitment to creating reproducible results through workflow and metrics

These are, of course, just a few of the considerations you would normally look for in a permanent hire but, in our experience, are the most critical to making a fractional relationship work.

What Can I Expect to Pay for a Fractional CMO?

The cost of a Fractional CMO varies greatly based on the business model of the individual or agency involved, and on the size of your company and engagement model.  The starting point for estimating fees is the equivalent cost of a full-time hire. Baseline annual salary for a seasoned CMO is north of $200,000 excluding benefits.

What you end up paying depends on:

  • Engagement model: part-time or project-based
  • Retainer (monthly payments) versus a Statement of Work (task-based)
  • Potential equity-based compensation

At Metrique, we favor a project-based model and tie our compensation to the accomplishment of specific milestones. Others favor time-based payments. We strongly believe this places the emphasis on getting things done. It also eliminates the concern that programs become drawn out, simply to maintain the Fractional CMO’s compensation.

Our Core Competencies

In addition to the core marketing competencies we deliver, Metrique has extensive expertise in a number of areas:

    • Enterprise Technologies
      • Document & Workflow Software
      • Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions
      • Network Security
      • Analytics & Business Intelligence
      • Database and Application Development
    • Business Models
      • Direct Sales
      • Distribution and Dealers/Resellers
      • Business-to-Business (B2B)
      • SaaS & Enterprise Licensing
    • Industries/Markets
      • Healthcare IT
      • Pharmacy
      • Advertising Technology
      • Product Design & Development
    • Development Stages
      • Startups (pre- and post-funding)
      • Early-Stage (<$5MM run rate)
      • Growth Stage ($5MM +)

Let’s Get Started!

Our engagement process beings with a rigorous analysis phase to understand your company, products, customers, markets, competition and overall strategy.

The first step is a brief  (<30 minute) information exchange to develop baseline objectives for your project.

We’d welcome the opportunity to gain a better understanding of your current situation and your mid-term ambitions.

We’d be happy to execute a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to facilitate the open sharing of information.

Please free to call us at +1 425.378.0524 or complete our contact form.