What’s a Fractional CMO and Why Would You Need One?

March 7, 2023

Think about the trusted advisors you rely on and how you work with them. If you’re a business owner, you probably have at least a CPA and an attorney in regular rotation, and you might also have a CFO advisor and HR advisor on call for special projects. You rely on these partners for strategy and guidance, but you don’t need them 40 hours a week. And the high six-figure salaries that come with the titles are expenses your company may not be ready to invest in full-time.

A Fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) falls into the same category as these other advisors. They work with senior management to set strategy and guide processes and execution – but in a part-time (fractional) capacity. Within BroadBased’s Fractional CMO services, we will:

  • Create systems and processes designed to generate customers and track ROI.
  • Interpret your Data Analytics and report on how marketing initiatives are contributing to leads and sales.
  • Develop a KPI dashboard so you can ensure your sales and marketing strategies are on the right track.
  • Work with the CEO or Marketing Director to build strategic plans and identify the right talent to execute the work.
  • Create SOPs to guide employees on efficient and strategic methods of executing marketing projects.
  • Identify needs and budgets to guide the growth of new or existing marketing teams.
  • Provide mentoring to marketing managers/junior tacticians who are still gaining experience.

Where does a Fractional CMO fit into an organization?

Marketing departments come in many sizes and talent configurations. A (fractional) CMO fills in leadership gaps.

While marketing job descriptions tend to get blurry depending on a particular company’s need and hierarchy, a marketing department is typically composed of Strategist > Director > Tacticians.

Some companies have Directors who oversee internal tacticians. Some companies have Directors who outsource execution. Very small companies might just have a tactician on staff who reports to the CEO or Partners. Below are three scenarios that illustrate how a Fractional CMO can plug into an organization.

STRATEGIST: A full-time CMO leads an organization’s marketing activities. Their primary responsibility is to generate revenue by increasing sales through a research-based strategy. The CMO often oversees both an in-house team and external marketing or agency partnerships.

If there is no CMO or Marketing SVP within an organization, a Fractional CMO can work alongside senior leadership to identify marketing challenges and create strategies to address them. Solutions can be executed by the internal team or external resources can be identified.

DIRECTOR: A Marketing Director may have grown from experience as a tactician and now oversees technicians who do the work – design, video, writing, advertising, PR. They often don’t have experience setting a revenue producing strategy but can guide a strategic plan.

A Fractional CMO can work with the CEO and/or alongside the Marketing Director to create strategies and budgets and establish SOPs for the team to use to generate revenue and track ROI. Working alongside Senior Marketing staff provides a mentoring opportunity that may not otherwise exist within the organization.

TACTICIAN: Small companies often have some form of a Marketing Assistant on the team. This person is typically a tactician with proficiency in executing projects on social media, websites, e-blasts and the like. They may or may not have writing skills and they learn a lot about digital marketing tools on the job.

A Fractional CMO can work with the CEO to create strategies and budgets and establish SOPs that will ensure the success of a Marketing Assistant, introducing them to tools and processes that will increase their acumen and grow them to the next level.

BroadBased Fractional CMO Services

BroadBased offers Senior-level fractional CMO consulting customized by need. Whether you’d like us to sit in on an executive planning session or work with your Sales and Marketing team on an executable strategy, we will design a solution and timetable that fits your needs and budget.

If you’d like to learn more about how BroadBased’s Fractional CMO services can support your goals and team, contact Chris Ramaglia.

Jan Hirabayashi

Jan Hirabayashi

Managing Partner

Jan Hirabayashi founded BroadBased in 1996 and is the company's managing partner and lead marketing strategist.