What is a Fractional CMO? Role, Responsibilities, Benefits & More

What is a Fractional CMO

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Join us as we discover what is a Fractional CMO, its role, responsibilities, benefits and more. Get ready to learn, be inspired and be informed as we simplify the world of a Fractional CMO, one insight at a time.


Your business is set to expand, but you need a manager to oversee your marketing and foster that expansion. Finding someone who can help is not difficult; there are many intelligent and skilled marketers in the world. Finding the ideal candidate- someone who will be honest with you and provide you with the necessary direction at a reasonable cost- is the challenge. In the last five years, the use of fractional CMOs has grown by over 60%, according to a Chief Outsiders poll, demonstrating a growing trend in companies seeking specialised marketing skills on a flexible basis.

So, what do you need to manage all of your marketing initiatives? A Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). However, CMO salaries are expensive for many mid-sized enterprises to pay. What is the solution? Drumroll please, A Fractional Chief Marketing Office (CMO). In this blog, we will talk about everything you need to know about Fractional CMOs. Let’s begin!

What is a Fractional CMO?

Before we begin to understand fractional CMO, we need to learn about two things: What a CMO is and what fractional marketing is.


The director of a company’s marketing division is known as the CMO, or Chief Marketing Officer. Their responsibilities include managing brand strategy, marketing communications and campaigns, product marketing, sales support, advertising and sponsorships, market research, public relations, and social media.

Fractional Marketing

The practice of outsourcing marketing tasks to part-time employees or freelancers is known as fractional marketing. I am not only referring to employing freelance copywriters or videographers. Leadership jobs like marketing directors and, you guessed it, CMOs can also fall under the umbrella of fractional marketing.

Fractional marketing is adopted by businesses when they don’t have the budget for full-time employees. By outsourcing only the necessary services, it enables them to distribute their scarce resources more effectively and efficiently.

The Fractional CMO

A chief marketing officer who works part-time or on a project basis for your business is known as a fractional CMO. Typically, a company may hire a fractional CMO to assist with its marketing initiatives. However, they place more emphasis on long-term plans than on regular activities. This implies that they won’t be responsible for designing marketing content or posting on social media. Instead, they will be the ones developing the concepts and plans for these items.

Each person’s route to becoming a fractional CMO is unique, but all require years of expertise in managing marketing teams and strategy. Numerous businesses profit from having access to fractional marketing leadership since it eliminates the high costs and risks involved in hiring, training, and the “ramp-up time” required for internal CMOs. Although employed under contract, fractional CMOs, also referred to as CMO-as-a-Service- are just as dedicated to the business they work for, from managing day-to-day operations to giving presentations at board meetings.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Fractional CMO

According to Harvard Business Review Study, companies that engaged Fractional CMOs experienced an average revenue growth rate of 29% compared to 19% for those without, emphasizing their contribution to business success. So, now the question arises: What exactly does a fractional CMO do? Let us understand the role of a fractional CMO.

Role of a Fractional CMO

A CMO typically keeps their eye on the budget, hires marketing talent to launch campaigns, occasionally serves as a bridge or link between the product team and marketing department, and looks for opportunities to forge strategic alliances to increase website traffic and lead generation for the sales team.

The role of a fractional CMO is different. While many people claim to be fractional CMOs but are really just glorified funnel builders, a real fractional CMO develops a strategic plan and finds the best candidate for the job at hand. Fractional CMOs need to be aware of the appeal and profitability of various products and services. They need to comprehend the complete sales process and how sales are made. Part-time CMOs must also be conversion-rate focused; they must be able to concentrate intently on conversion rates, business goals, as well as the larger issues that any marketing function, including positioning authority, must deal with.

According to a poll conducted by the CMO club, 82% of executives believe that fractional CMOs offer unique insights that enable businesses to quickly modify their marketing strategy in response to shifting consumer preferences and new trends.

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Responsibilities of a Fractional CMO

Fractional CMOs are accountable for overseeing all aspects of marketing within an organization, including stakeholder management, the marketing team itself, and even third-party contractors. Generally, fractional CMOs are responsible for the following:

  • Driving messaging, segmentation, and positioning
  • Creating a marketing infrastructure and sales automation
  • Developing programs for prospect onboarding and nurturing
  • Leading the marketing team
  • Managing product pricing, go-to-market, and launch
  • Developing campaigns for client loyalty and retention
  • Optimizing clients’ online presence
  • PR, trademarks, and branding
  • Marketing using both paid and organic search
  • Marketing using content
  • Establishing your business as a thought leader in the industry
  • Creating marketing collateral for the forthcoming financial meeting
  • Hiring new team members

These are the responsibilities of a fractional CMO. According to DemandMetric analysis, businesses using fractional CMOs experienced an average 48% reduction in time-to-market for new products and services, which translates into speedier returns on investment.

For example, when Company X, a tech startup, faced a stagnant growth phase, they enlisted the expertise of a fractional CMO. By revamping their digital marketing strategies and optimizing their online presence, the company saw a 40% increase in website traffic within six months. This influx of potential customers translated into 25% boost in sales, breathing new life into business.

A fractional CMO streamlines your marketing strategies and identifies the best people to do the required jobs. They craft comprehensive marketing strategies that are tailored to the unique needs of the business. They concentrate on the important metrics, making sure every marketing dollar spent delivers maximum ROI.

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Who Needs a Fractional CMO?

When a business cannot afford to engage a full-time CMO or manage the marketing campaigns that the CMO suggests, or when the company’s marketing activities are very simple and do not require a CMO, it should hire a fractional CMO. Businesses with annual average ranging from $1 to $50 million, contingent on profitability, might benefit from employing a fractional CMO. These businesses are usually too small to support a full-time CMO, but they are at a crucial development period and require the strategy and marketing leadership experience that only an experienced CMO can provide.

Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CMO

Not every business can afford a full-time CMO. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the experience and expertise of a skilled marketing executive. You need all the help to survive and grow in the competitive marketplace. That is where fractional CMO comes in. Having a fractional CMO will bring many amazing benefits to your business. Let us study a few below:

1. Cost-effectiveness

It can be expensive to hire a full-time CMO, especially for small to medium-sized companies. Hiring a fractional CMO will be budget-friendly for your business, as they offer top-notch skills without draining your budget.

2. Expert Knowledge

This is one of the important benefits of hiring a fractional CMO. Fractional CMOs are a goldmine of specialised marketing knowledge. They can provide insights and tactics that may not be available internally because of their experience dealing with a variety of businesses and industries. With their expertise, they turn challenges into opportunities and ideas into profit.

3. Unique and Fresh Strategies

Identifying innovative approaches to present marketing tactics that will help you achieve your objectives is one of the duties a fractional CMO excels at. Based on their expertise, they will be able to convert your objectives into tangible achievements. One size doesn’t fit all. They will create tailor-made strategies that suit your business. It will be all YOU- your vision, your mission, and your unique selling point.

4. Efficiency

A fractional CMO is conscious that time is valuable because they are not full-time employees. Instead of having to deal with other daily, time-wasting activities that full-time employees frequently deal with, they will be able to fully concentrate on specific projects or marketing campaigns. Their strategic wisdom will help you sail smoothly.

5. Less Scope of Risk

If you’ve ever employed a full-time employee, you are aware of how difficult and time-consuming the process can be. When you hire a fractional CMO, you don’t have to worry about this. Due to their part-time status, they will be serving as consultants, so, you don’t have to worry as much about whether they will fit perfectly with your culture. The risk of hiring the wrong fit is greatly reduced.

Hire a Fractional CMO and amplify your marketing strategies.

6. Resources

This is one of the best benefits of hiring a fractional CMO. They often have access to a plethora of resources and vendors that can help a business in carry out its marketing strategy. This can include platforms for marketing technology, creative firms, and other experts.

So, there you have it. The odds are always in your favour when you hire a fractional CMO for your business. Enhance your business strategies by hiring a fractional CMO and growing your business.

Fractional CMO vs. In-House CMO

Fractional CMO and In-House CMO, it is difficult to choose between these two superheroes for your business. Here is a tabular comparison between Fractional CMOs and In-House CMOs based on key factors:

Fractional CMO vs In-House Chief Marketing Officer
Fractional CMO vs In-House Chief Marketing Officer

Both fractional CMOs and in-house CMOs bring their unique strengths to the table. The choice depends on the specific needs, goals and budget constraints of your business. Whether you go for a versatile fractional CMO or the steadfast in-house CMO, it is about how your business wins in the end.

How to Hire a Fractional CMO?

Finding the right fractional CMO for your business can be a tough task. But you don’t have to worry because we are here to help you. Here’s how you can hire a fractional CMO for your business:

1. Experience level

You need to understand when they started serving as fractional CMOs. Aspects of fractional CMO services should not be forgotten, especially strategy. Their ability to hire, oversee, and manage at a high level comes in second to strategy. Find someone with confidence in leading the team to achieve the objectives that the CEO and the board members have set for the business. It will pay off in terms of return on investment. Someone who has successfully tackled challenges similar to yours will bring valuable insights and strategies to the table.

2. Communication skills

Effective communication is the key to any successful association in business. Your fractional CMO should be an excellent listener, and understand your vision, goals, and challenges clearly. Additionally, they should be adept at communicating their strategies in a way that everyone on the team can easily understand and adapt.

3. Process of working

Results from a predictable process will always be anticipated. So, the CMO you hire must have a procedure they adhere to and be upfront about what it involves and how it operates. An efficient CMO always follows a process so they can know what they’re doing and not have to gamble on the next steps.

4. Budget

Be honest about your financial limitations, and make the payment conditions and project scope clear from the very beginning. Fractional CMOs most often charge by the hour or on a project basis. To steer clear of misunderstandings, make sure you are all on the same page regarding the financial aspects.

By following these steps, you can hire your Fractional CMO who will help you meet and exceed your expectations. When you know that marketing services are necessary for your business, hire a Fractional CMO to create ideas, build campaigns and teams, and lead them to success. You can always speak with our experts at Markeeters to learn how to hire a Fractional CMO for your business. Contact us to schedule a 30-minute consultation. We will understand your business, discuss your requirements, and determine if fractional CMO services may be a fit.


In this blog, we learned what a Fractional CMO is, its roles, responsibilities, and some amazing benefits of hiring fractional CMOs. Fractional CMOs are growing popular since they allow businesses to pick and choose whatever functions they assign to them. Businesses with specific goals or deliverables, such as improving marketing operations or rebranding, can hire a fractional CMO as needed on a short-term basis. They can perform a wide range of marketing-related responsibilities.

They create unique, fresh, and tailored strategies for businesses. Hiring a fractional CMO is cost-effective, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money. They become a valuable asset for your business. They have the skill to grab the opportunities, turn them into effective campaigns, and produce successful and tangible results. They will help you stay ahead of the competition in the marketplace.

It is important to understand the work-flow of the fractional CMO while hiring. They bring innovation to your marketing strategies. They guide you and lead your team to success. They are skilled at successfully managing challenging tasks. Therefore, if you have budget constraints and cannot spend money on a full-time CMO, hire a fractional CMO and ease your marketing strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a CMO and a fractional CMO?

A fractional CMO works just a predetermined amount of hours per month and simultaneously manages the marketing needs of several companies as opposed to a regular CMO who works the typical 40 hours per week for a single company. The cost of fractional CMOs is often the most attractive perk; they are far less expensive than hiring a full-time CMO to look after your company’s needs.

Why do I need a Fractional CMO?

For businesses looking to lower the risk of hiring an executive-level marketer, a fractional CMO is the perfect option. It is a wonderful technique to test the culture fit and assess the instant positive impact on the company because it doesn’t demand a long-term commitment.

How much does a Fractional CMO cost?

The average hourly pay for a fractional CMO is $200/hr., whereas the most effective fractional CMOs may charge $300/hr. The key advantage here is that you can hire a fractional CMO to create a scalable plan in 4 or 5 months, and then have a less expensive staff execute it. Bring back the factional CMO as needed.

When should I hire a Fractional CMO?

Hiring a fractional CMO is an excellent alternative for companies who cannot afford to engage a full-time CMO. They can obtain the skills they require without committing to a full-time staff. A part-time CMO can develop a marketing plan, and then a more junior team member can carry it out on a daily basis.

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