A Fractional CMO which is also known as an “Outsourced CMO” is an industry-leading marketing professional who joins your organization as a part-time leadership executive. Because they are fractional, this type of marketing expert typically works with multiple organizations. 

Fractional CMOs are a great option if you are not ready to bring on a full-time team member, but do not want to hire an agency or a generalized consultant to lead your marketing efforts. A Fractional CMO will be capable of helping you achieve the next round of your growth while increasing profitability without having to hire someone for the CMO role full-time.


At a fraction of the cost of a full-time CMO, Fractional CMOs are becoming more and more popular as they are helping brands reach rapid growth.

What does a Fractional CMO do?

The role of a Fractional CMO varies based on the company’s needs, but overall your Fractional CMO will lead and bring holistic digital marketing strategies and a wealth of experience to your team. 

My experience as a Fractional CMO serving small and large B2C and B2B companies have included:

  • Branding and Story Development / Positioning Analysis
  • Identification of opportunities and weaknesses within marketing and your funnel
  • Marketing Funnel Audit, Improvement, and Execution Roadmapping
  • KPI Creation – setting strategic goals and key performance indicators measured
  • Analyze – business health, analytics, UX/UI, target audiences, consumer experience, position, and messaging.
  • Planning – Campaign Strategy, Branding, Go to Market (GTM strategy), creative direction

The benefits of hiring a Fractional CMO

CMOS are executive leaders that can make a massive impact on your business. A full-time hire requires tremendous expenses and onboarding. The cost of recruiting, vetting, and hiring a CMO is tremendous. 

The average salary of a CMO is in the range of $175-220k yearly. With a fractional CMO, you receive the expertise and skillsets of an executive leader at a much lower cost. Even at 4-5 hours, a week brands can receive exponential results and clarity of marketing purpose and direction that otherwise would not be achieved.

Freelance contractors and agencies are incredible for early-stage and growth-stage businesses. Once your brand passes the early stages of growth, you want a CMO or Fractional CMO to take full ownership of the marketing campaigns which gives your other C-suite executives the ability to focus on their roles. 

Key differences between a CMO and a Fractional CMO

The major difference between a full-time CMO and a Fractional CMO is the cost. Fractional CMOs put in a few hours per week for each business they work with. This allows businesses to pay a manageable fee for the support and strategy of an industry-leading expert. 

If you are tired of working with freelancers or consultants and not getting the results you need, a fractional CMO is an option worth considering. Not bringing on a full-time hire reduces the risk for your business, and allows you to have new strategies and knowledge in a timely way.

The Takeaway

When your brand is shifting from early-stage growth and is ready to take marketing seriously a fractional CMO is there to fill the senior leadership marketing position. When you need more than strategy, but also execution, a fractional CMO will come to the helm and lead the team to help you generate a significantly higher return compared to a fragmented team of freelancers, contractors, or agency employees. A fractional CMO ensures that all team members have good expectations, are held accountable, and that your marketing budget generates the highest return possible. 

To learn more about our fractional CMO offering and how we can help your business grow and achieve ROI, reach out and schedule a consultation below.

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