What is a Fractional CMO and How Can They Help Your Business Grow?

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I’m Crystal, Chief Marketer and Co-Founder here at CNV Creative where we help you grow your online business by strategizing and implementing profitable, wholistic and data-driven marketing plans – so you can start loving your business again.

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A Fractional CMO gives you access to someone with expertise in the field without having to hire them full-time. This allows you, as the founder of the company, to focus on what matters most: keeping track of core operations and maintaining your vision for how you want things done.

Founder-led businesses are often caught in the trap of being unable to find the time or resources to grow their business. 

Outsourcing your Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a great way to expand your reach and generate more revenue without sacrificing quality.

A Fractional CMO gives you access to someone with expertise in the field without having to hire them full-time. This allows you, as the founder of the company, to focus on what matters most: keeping track of core operations and maintaining your vision for how you want things done.

In this blog post, we will discuss what fractional or outsourced CMO agencies are, how they work, and why you should consider using them as an option for growing your company!

First up: What is a Fractional CMO?

Let’s make sure we are all on the same page: a fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or FCMO for short, is a marketing executive who manages the strategic planning of all aspects of your company’s marketing efforts, from ideation to branding and lead generation. 

A fractional CMO can be a game changer for your business. They have the skills and resources to take on any project, so you don’t need to worry about hiring more staff or outsourcing projects that are outside of their expertise.

They work with you every step of the way in order to create a customer acquisition strategy, growth-projections and an outstanding journey for your company’s prospective customers.

A fractional CMO can help your business grow faster and more efficiently – giving you access to business and marketing expertise without having to hire someone full-time.

They are true strategic partners and will help take the burden off you so that they’re running on autopilot while you focus on other tasks at hand like product development and customer service!

When you work with a FCMO you’re going to get top level marketing to really expand your footprint but because they are not working full time, you don’t pay nearly as much as you would if they were working in house. 

Makes sense, right? 

However, a Chief Marketing Officer does not execute or implement marketing strategies – you still need a team of junior marketers to do that. Think about the true definition of a CMO – whether full time or fractional- they are *leading*

We’ve worked with dozens of founder-led businesses and we know that most do not have a team or frankly the time to manage a team of mismatched marketing freelancers. 

But here’s the problem with Fractional CMOs for founder-led businesses that are just starting to grow their marketing efforts: without a team in place, your FCMO investment will not be profitable.

It’s a problem we have seen across the FCMO industry and something I was determined to solve. 

That’s why we created the Fractional CMO Agency.


What is a Fractional CMO Agency?

It’s not enough to have a Fractional CMO (or even an in-house CMO for that matter). 

Marketing projects often require resources like graphic designers, SEO copywriters, social media professionals, content creators and PPC specialists – but most founders don’t know how to hire freelancers for each project or what contract terms they should use. They don’t know how to judge the quality of work or how to implement one cohesive strategy. 

Since a CMO does not implement the plan, you need an entire team of experts that can execute all the brilliant strategies your Chief Marketing Officer comes up with! 

A FCMO Agency can help you manage all aspects of executing your digital marketing campaigns by filling any gaps on your team. You will gain access to an experienced team of marketers with the expertise and skills needed to run your own inbound or outbound campaigns without having to hire additional staff.

You might be asking yourself how this is different than a marketing agency…

FCMOs and marketing agencies have their strengths: Chief Marketing Officers are experts in generating strategy, while growth-marketing agencies execute on that strategy. Most marketing agencies are not ingrained in your business. You are a client on a long list of projects with an account manager that relays to the creative team. You tell them what you want them to do. 

A Fractional CMO Agency is a new type of hybrid agency that combines the best qualities of both fractional Chief Marketing Officers and growth-marketing agencies. 

Unlike a traditional agency, you don’t have an account rep. You talk and strategize directly with your FCMO. 

Unlike a traditional agency, you aren’t directing the show by telling them what you want done. 

In fact, the FCMO is telling YOU what SHOULD be done for best results. They know the market and they understand the strategy. 

Unlike a traditional agency, you aren’t piecing different projects together with no cohesive plan. Everything your FCMO Agency does is under the guidance of the FCMO and based on the strategy they have developed. 

Unlike outsourcing a bunch of freelancers, your marketers are mentored and led by the Fractional CMO (so you don’t even have to manage them!). Your sole point of contact is typically the FCMO – streamlining all of your communication. 

Imagine being able to show up effectively on every marketing channel with a complete team of marketing experts, but with *more* time for yourself. 

With help from this whole (pre-assembled) squad behind them, your fractional CMO is now capable of leading holistic marketing initiatives effectively and your brand will be generating leads like never before. 

The team suddenly goes from a one-man band (you!) trying to manage all the aspects of their business to having:

  • A highly qualified CMO
  • A Marketing Manager
  • A Project Manager
  • Facebook, Google and LinkedIn Ad Specialists
  • A Content and Email Marketing Copywriter
  • A Social Media Manager
  • A Graphic Designer
  • A Funnel Designer
  • A Funnel Builder
  • An Automation Specialist
  • A Data Scientist and
  • A Research Assistant

When you work with CNV Creative, you have one assigned Fractional CMO to communicate and strategize with and you get access to a team of MBA-level Marketing Executives who each have an average of 15 years of proven marketing experience working with big businesses like Daymond John and founder-led start-ups.

Every agency is different, but the specialties we focus on at CNV Creative are:

  • Marketing Strategy – Your CMO will work with your executive team to establish 60, 90, 180 and 365-day goals so you’re always aware of the scoreboard. These goals become part of the long term strategy we prepare for your organization with your vision and mission statement, the market and analytical research in mind.
  • Paid Advertising – Our LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube ad specialists manage over 1M in annual ad spend, have profitable results and are certified in their area of specialty so you know that your ad budget will be spent wisely and your cost per lead will help create a profitable marketing department.
  • Sales Copy (Landing – Page, Email + More) – Compelling storytelling and strong copywriting is the heart of all good marketing. It is the foundation that empowers your brand to connect with prospects across social media, landing pages, blogs, email marketing and more.
  • Web and Funnel Design – We do not code and believe in building technology that your team can manage internally for years to come. We design, build and optimize Application, Webinar, E-Commerce, Lead Magnet, Upsell-Downsell, Membership, Free + Shipping Book, and Trip Wire Funnels.
  • Social Media – Interacting with your audience on social media is an important foundation for your brand to make genuine connections, answer questions of curious prospects and provide customer support. We have a team of copywriters, graphic designers and engagement experts to help you strategize, manage and organically grow your social channels.
  • Email Marketing + Automation – Automation and email marketing are the most powerful ways to connect and nurture prospects through your revenue pipeline. A strong automation strategy includes great copy and nurturing content that will prepare prospects for the sales team.
  • Lead Generation – Lead generation is at the heart of profit-center marketing. Each channel and strategy is aligned with the following lead generation goals: reduce your cost per lead, increase the number of qualified leads and warm up prospects so your sales team can close more clients. We use dashboards to monitor the KPIs that dictate success and update you bi-weekly on their performance so you can feel connected when you need to.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization – A major component of lead generation and funnel building, conversion rate optimization will ensure that paid & organic traffic are visiting website and landing pages that are optimized for your specific audience. We implement best practices for split testing and are constantly improving conversion rates to feed the sales team more leads.

Why you should hire a fractional CMO Agency?

A company doesn’t necessarily need a full-time Chief Marketing Officer to succeed. It’s up to the individual whether fractional or full services are appropriate for their business.

Fractional Marketing Agencies help businesses of all sizes to achieve increased exposure, greater revenue growth and improved brand awareness.

There are many benefits for hiring a Fractional CMO Agency:

  • Increased revenue from working with someone who has experience in marketing and managerial responsibilities
  • Professional expertise within different aspects of marketing like social media management or pay-per-click advertising
  • Not needing to hire someone as permanent, in-house staff  
  • Having more time to focus on other aspects that will drive your company forward without any worry about how successful future promotions will be
  • Not having to manage multiple freelancers with no cohesive strategy. (Did you know that a cohesive strategy improves your ROI?)
  • Fractional CMOs are more affordable than the traditional full-service cmo model which makes it an attractive option for businesses who do not have enough resources in-house to allocate towards their advertising needs.

This will allow you to allocate additional resources to growing your business or enhancing current operations without having to worry about sacrificing quality marketing services for the sake of saving money.

Who’s making Fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Agencies work for them?:

Outsourced Chief Marketing Officer Agencies are a great option for founder-led businesses who need to grow their business efficiently and have no time or resources to do so themselves!

A FCMO Agency is best for companies with founder-led teams who want access to all aspects of high-performing digital marketing campaigns – including industry expertise and execution skills without hiring individual freelancers on demand for each project.

To hire a Fractional CMO Agency, you must be willing to hire an outsourced team of marketers. These are not the traditional types of marketing employees that would work in-house with your company – these people will have full ownership of your marketing strategy and implementation process. 

There is no time for extensive training or hands-on leadership from the founder as it takes up too much of your valuable time. We’ve got that covered.

Our clients who see the best results typically:

  • Are founder-led, online businesses
  • Offer consulting, courses, services, digital products, subscriptions or paid content
  • Are small to mid-sized businesses with $3-80 million in annual sales
  • Have someone who can close sales and a lead-driven business model
  • Have an advertising budget and understand realistic return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Have strong values with a giving mindset
  • Recognize that building a marketing foundation for long-term success requires time, commitment, and experienced leadership
  • Want to trust and rely on marketing experts instead of trying to steer the ship

 What does a Fractional CMO Agency Cost?

Outsourcing your marketing operations can also help bring down costs while providing more specialized talent that may not otherwise be available to you within your company’s budget constraints.

Fractional CMO Agencies cost less than half (around 22%!) of what it would cost if you were to hire a full-time CMO.

You should allocate about 15% of your revenue to your marketing team per year depending on what other services it provides as well – email campaigns, video production, social media management etc.

Fractional CMO agencies can range in price from $250 to $350/hour. The price includes a FCMO, marketing manager, project leadership, a team of marketing specialists and access to the agency’s network.

The cost varies widely based on what you are looking for as well as your budget + timeline so be sure to do research before hiring an outsourced CMO or fractional CMO company like ours!

Full service CMO agencies like ours tend to have higher fees, but with that comes complete support in both marketing strategy development as well as execution across all marketing and advertising channels.

Digital/marketing only agencies charge less because they don’t provide a full range of services – just marketing strategy development (and very limited execution) on digital channels like email campaigns and social media support for example). They are also not typically staffed with experienced marketers or strategists.

What fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) agencies don’t do:

The fractional CMO does not typically engage in the following activities:

Product Development – there may be some collaboration on product selections such as guidance on the products that will resonate with your target audience and what is needed to complete the levels of the ascension ladder, but the actual development of products or services will likely fall to the founder or business owner.

The fractional CMO is not a full-time employee, so if the owner or entrepreneur requires 24/7 support, a fractional CMO may not be the right choice.

The fractional CMO does not typically take on the responsibility of managing staff outside of their own agency team – their focus is marketing and lead generation.

The Fractional CMO team typically does not take on the role of a sales team: they do not take calls to close clients or appear on Podcasts etc.

To Sum Things Up

If your business is struggling to take on new marketing work, research the benefits of hiring a fractional CMO. The right person for this job can help you grow faster and more efficiently with their knowledge in all aspects of running your company’s marketing operations.If you’re interested in getting more information about how this works, book a call with us today.


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